News items related to ag biotech, trade – and perhaps some other interesting items out there related to agriculture – will be posted on this page throughout the week (newly added items will be in green at bottom of sections).  Be sure to check in regularly!

BIOTECH:

French court hands symbolic win to GMO maize supporters – Reuters (Apr 15)

“The court ruled on Friday that the decree from March 2014, which outlawed Monsanto’s MON 810 maize (corn), did not demonstrate serious health or environmental risks, as was required by European Union rules in order to withdraw a GMO crop already approved at EU level.”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-gmo-court-idUSKCN0XC1HZ

China to greatly expand GM crops – Deutsche Welle (Apr 14)

“China intends to plant genetically modified crops on a very large scale in the coming years. The new policy follows a recent announcement that GM crop developer Syngenta will be taken over by a Chinese state-owned firm.”

Link: http://www.dw.com/en/china-to-greatly-expand-gm-crops/a-19185532

Biotechnology: ‘Don’t make restrictive bill’ – New Vision (Uganda) – By Christopher Bendana (Apr 14)

“Prohibitive fines and punishment being suggested by some groups will deter innovation in the technology.”

Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1422166/biotechnology-restrictive

Solution to citrus greening crisis will be found, Ricke Kress says – Southeast Farm Press – By Mike Wilson, Penton Ag (Apr 12)

“Citrus greening is a potential game-changer for consumers everywhere who love a tangy, sweet glass of orange juice each morning.”

Link: http://southeastfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/solution-citrus-greening-crisis-will-be-found-ricke-kress-says

Global Biotech Acreage: “Grey Lady” Editors Miss the Forest for a Tree – The Innovation Files – By L. Val Giddings (Apr 13)

Link: http://www.innovationfiles.org/global-biotech-acreage-grey-lady-editors-miss-the-forest-for-a-tree/#sthash.LJqFTBZY.dpuf

Support For GMOs Rises With Education Level – Huffpost Politics – By Joseph Erbentraut (Apr 13)

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gmo-poll-education_us_570ea20de4b0ffa5937e0124

What’s a GMO? Mushrooms, ‘gene-editing’, and a brave new world for regulators? – Food Navigator USA – By Elaine Watson (Apr 19)

“News that non-browning mushrooms developed with a gene-editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9 would not be subject to regulation by USDA has prompted a fresh debate about what ‘GMOs’ are, and whether the regulatory framework governing biotech crops is fit for purpose.”

Failure to use biotechnology hurting farmers, says report – Daily Nation (Kenya) (Apr 18)

“Agricultural produce and yields bound to improve if farmers use new and improved biotechnological tools.”

Link: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/seedsofgold/Biotechnology-farming-methods-increase-yields/-/2301238/3164406/-/qxjnya/-/index.html

Moving matches won’t help farmers, GM crops will – The Times of India – By SA Aiyar (Apr 17)

“Many farmers’ organizations have long demanded the approval of genetically modified (GM) crops to raise yields. They have been opposed by various NGOs on pseudo-scientific grounds.”

Link: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Swaminomics/moving-matches-wont-help-farmers-gm-crops-will/

Anti-GMO vultures circle ISU – Quad City Times – By Jon Alexander, Editorial Page Editor (Apr 19)

“No group is more notorious in my line of work than militant vegans and the alarmists living on a strict diet of GMO red herrings. They’re the kings of turf, filing letters to the editor that are nothing but form drafts, written by some far-flung organization.”

Link: http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/jon-alexander/alexander-anti-gmo-vultures-circle-isu/article_532201e4-4aa6-5a52-8470-1a1a4e560230.html

Report: greening affects 90% of Florida’s citrus acreage – The Packer – By Doug Ohlemeier (Apr 18)

Link: http://www.thepacker.com/news/report-greening-affects-90-floridas-citrus-acreage

Biotechnology, Africa’s Next Frontier – Leadership (Nigeria) – By Nkechi Isaac (Apr 19)

Link: http://leadership.ng/news/519523/biotechnology-africas-next-frontier

Shoprite to import GMO food – Daily Mail (Zambia) – (Apr 19)

Link: https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/?p=63757

FOOD, LABELING, OTHER:

Special Report: How the World Health Organization’s cancer agency confuses consumers – Reuters – By Kate Kelland (Apr 18)

“Over four decades, a WHO research agency has assessed 989 substances and activities, ranging from arsenic to hairdressing, and found only one was “probably not” likely to cause cancer in humans. It was an ingredient in nylon used in stretchy yoga pants and toothbrush bristles.”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-who-iarc-special-report-idUSKCN0XF0RF

‘Sustainability’ authors show little understanding of real farm work – Delta Farm Press – By Forrest Laws in Farm Press Blog (Apr 14)

“There’s a mindset in this country that seems to believe if we just turn back the clock on some of the breakthroughs of recent years, we can go back to a simpler time that, quite frankly, never existed or, where it did, wasn’t nearly as rosy as some imagine.”

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/blog/sustainability-authors-show-little-understanding-real-farm-work

Farm to Fable – Tampa Bay Times – By Laura Reiley (Apr 13)

“At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you’re being fed fiction”

Link: http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2016/food/farm-to-fable/restaurants/

Galvanising African Agriculture through Efficient Farm Mechanisation – Africa Outlook – By Emily Jarvis (Apr 8)

“The Vision of the Future event, organised by Massey Ferguson, takes place in Lusaka, Zambia today; promising new ideas, new techniques and new thinking in Africa’s agricultural industry”

Link: http://www.africaoutlookmag.com/news/galvanising-african-agriculture-through-efficient-farm-mechanisation

Farm to Fable – Part 2 – Tampa Bay Times By Laura Reiley (Apr 13)

“Tampa Bay farmers markets are lacking in just one thing: Local farmers”

Link: http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2016/food/farm-to-fable/farmers-markets/

EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list once inflammatory, now discredited – Southeast Farm Press – By Alliance for Food and Farming (Apr 15)

“One of the main reasons for declining coverage of the “dirty dozen” is not only are more reporters and bloggers reading the actual USDA report, but EWG’s “list” has been discredited by the scientific community.”

Link: http://southeastfarmpress.com/vegetables/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-list-once-inflammatory-now-discredited

**See Video by CropLife International – “Could You Eat 28,000 Strawberries in a Day?”

GMO labeling of food completely unnecessary – The Detroit News – By Ryan Yonk and Jadyn Naylor (Apr 19)

Link: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2016/04/19/gmo-labels-unnecessary/83266424/

The GMO Circus Comes To Congress And It’s Not Fun – Forbes.com – By Julie Kelly and Henry I. Miller (Apr 20)

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/04/20/the-gmo-circus-comes-to-congress-its-not-entertaining/#4a56895799bf

Judge Says Lawsuit Accusing Chipotle of Deception Over GMOs Can Go Forward – Wall Street Journal – By Julie Jargon (Apr 20)

Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-says-lawsuit-accusing-chipotle-of-deception-over-gmos-can-go-forward-1461196491

Inside the Country’s Most Controversial Company – Mother Jones – By Tom Philpott (Apr 20)

“Altogether, it was an informative and provocative visit.”

Link: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2016/04/what-i-learned-my-five-hour-tour-monsanto-hq

Kevin Folta reflects after winning Borlaug Ag Comm Award, year of attacks from anti-GMO activists – Genetic Literacy Project – By Kevin Folta (Apr 21)

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/04/21/kevin-folta-reflects-winning-ag-comm-award-year-attacks-anti-gmo-activists/

TRADE:

Europe ‘confident’ on Mercosur deal amid beef row – GlobalMeatNews.com – By Oscar Rousseau (Apr 18)

The European Commission has responded to criticism over its proposed deal with South American trade bloc Mercosur by claiming the outcome will have “great economic benefit”.

Organic Feed Boom Means U.S. Cows Feast on Romanian Corn Instead – Bloomberg – By Megan Durisin (Apr 13)

“Average yields for organic crops tend to be lower, and there’s increased risk of damage from pests, diseases and weeds. It also takes three years to transition from conventional crops to organic, during which costs will be higher and the harvested grain won’t command as much of a premium.”

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-13/organic-feed-boom-means-u-s-cows-feast-on-romanian-corn-instead

Obama on trade policy: ‘It’s either gonna be us or it’s gonna be China’ – Yahoo! Finance – By Nicole Sinclair (Apr 15)

Link: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obama-trade-policy-TPP-china–204313583.html

Presidential election fact-free on trade but TPP will go ahead: US Chamber – CNBC – By Saheli Roy Choundhury (Apr 15)

“The world’s biggest economy has plenty to gain from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), despite the anti-trade rhetoric dominating the U.S. presidential election campaign, according to a top executive at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

Link: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/15/presidential-election-fact-free-on-trade-but-tpp-will-go-ahead-us-chamber-of-commerce.html

Free-trade pacts can enhance U.S. security – Minneapolis Star-Tribune – By Editorial Board (Apr 14)

“Diplomatic and defense leaders stress the importance of TPP and T-TIP.”

Link: http://www.startribune.com/free-trade-pacts-can-enhance-u-s-security/375774021/

Trade Matters In 2016; This May Help You Understand Why – NPR – By Marilyn Geewax (Apr 18)

Link: http://www.npr.org/2016/04/18/473862097/trade-matters-in-2016-this-may-help-you-understand-why

France threatens halt to TTIP talks barring progress in coming months – Reuters – By Yves Clarisse and Emmanuel Jarry (Apr 19)

Link: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-trade-europe-usa-idUKKCN0XG2F5

Negroponte: TPP deal will pass despite campaign rhetoric – CNBC – By Leslie Shaffer (Apr 21)

Link: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/john-negroponte-trans-pacific-partnership-deal-will-pass-despite-campaign-rhetoric.html