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!

 

EPA committee reportedly classifies glyphosate as ‘not likely carcinogenic’ – Southwest Farm Press – By Forrest Laws (May 5)

“EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee appears to have published an official classification of glyphosate as “not likely to be carcinogenic.” But the status of the action is unclear because EPA pulled the committee’s report offline.”

Link: http://southwestfarmpress.com/government/epa-committee-reportedly-classifies-glyphosate-not-likely-carcinogenic

Smith Questions EPA’s Removal of Final Report – U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, & Technology – Press Release (May 4)

“Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith today sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting documents and communications related to a risk assessment for glyphosate prepared by the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC).”

Link: https://science.house.gov/news/press-releases/smith-questions-epa-s-removal-final-report

Cassava genome mapped to help boost its qualities – SciDevNet – By Baraka Rateng (May 9)

“A research team in Kenya spent four years decoding the DNA, the genetic material, of the cassava plant, which is widely farmed and eaten across the tropics.”

Link: http://www.scidev.net/global/biotechnology/news/cassava-genome-mapped-boost-qualities-2.html

Corporate organic emerges – Brownfield Ag News – By Steve Kopperud (May 6)

“Today, the small, independent producers – unless they can survive selling at farmers’ markets – are either consolidating or being rapidly supplanted by national and multinational food companies who like that organic “premium” and can provide to the Costcos and the Walmarts consistent product supply.”

Link: http://brownfieldagnews.com/2016/05/06/corporate-organic-emerges/

Vermont’s immediate impact is becoming clearer – Food Business News – By Keith Nunes (May 3)

“Yet once the labels are in place, one has to wonder what genuine benefits will result.”

Link: http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/Opinion/Keith-Nunes/Vermonts-immediate-impact-is-becoming-clearer.aspx

U.S. traders reject GMO crops that lack global approval – Reuters – By Tom Polansek and Karl Plume (May 6)

“The U.S. farm sector is trying to avoid a repeat of the turmoil that occurred in 2013 and 2014, when China turned away boatloads of U.S. corn…”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-gmo-crops-idUSKCN0XX2AV

You Can Thank Genetic Engineering For Your Delicious Cheese – Gizmodo – By Levi Gadye (May 5)

“By any measure, the use of GMOs in the production of cheese is among the greatest feats of modern food science. But today, that achievement is often ignored, disowned, and overlooked.”

Link: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/05/you-can-thank-genetic-engineering-for-your-delicious-cheese/?sf25746763=1

California looks at easing drought cuts after wet winter – Washington Post – By Ellen Knickmeyer, AP (May 9)

“Members of the state Water Resources Control Board – czars of the state’s drought emergency program – will decide May 18 whether to remove the 11-month-old statewide order.”

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/california-eyes-conservation-changes-as-drought-eases/2016/05/09/f920d19c-160b-11e6-971a-dadf9ab18869_story.html

Why Many Midwestern Farmers Are Pro-TPP – NPR, The Salt – By Kristofor Husted (May 9)

“Free trade agreements remove tariffs on products we import, but also on food grown here that we export to other markets. That opens the door to get more beef, soybeans and rice into other countries at more competitive prices.’

Link: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/05/09/476460269/why-many-midwestern-farmers-are-pro-tpp

Clinton sets the record straight on her free trade stance – CBS News – By Tim Perry (May 9)

“During his interview with Clinton, “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson asked her to respond…”

Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/clinton-sets-the-record-straight-on-her-free-trade-stance/

Free Tradeoffs: TTIP is Flawed — But Necessary – Spiegel Online (Germany) – By Michael Sauga (May 9)

“Here, however, is what critics are overlooking: Germany is an export nation whose success largely depends on it determining relevant global standards.”

Link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/why-germans-need-to-get-on-board-with-ttip-free-trade-pact-a-1091075.html

70% of Africans make a living through agriculture, and technology could transform their world – World Economic Forum – By Mamadou Biteye (May 6)

“Technology is not just about ICT or mobile access, but frankly any tool that makes work or life easier, and makes us better informed – after all, even the wheel was a game changer in its day.”

Link: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/70-of-africans-make-a-living-through-agriculture-and-technology-could-transform-their-world

Using GM plants as a source of omega-3 fish oils and astaxanthin for feed is sustainable, says UK professor – Feed Navigator – By Jane Byrne (May 9)

“As a UK institute’s field trial to test GM Camelina plants that produce DHA and EPA rich oils and astaxanthin gets green-lighted, the lead researcher defends the environmental robustness of using such crops as the key components in farmed fish diets.”

How does popular organic pesticide copper sulfate compare to synthetic ones like glyphosate? – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

“[O]rganic products are not necessarily less hazardous than their conventional counterparts. Nor are they pesticide free. Copper sulfate is one of many pesticides approved under the USDA National Organic Program and a number of studies show that it has a great deal of toxicity to both humans and the environment.”

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/05/09/popular-organic-pesticide-copper-sulfate-compare-synthetic-ones-like-glyphosate/

Malmström concerned about public perception of TTIP – EurActiv – By Henriette Jacobsen (May 10)

Link: http://www.euractiv.com/section/trade-society/news/almstrom-concerned-about-public-perception-of-ttip/

Nigeria: FG Embarks On Vitamin a Food Bio-Fortification to Reduce Death Rate – Minister – allAfrica / Leadership (Nigeria) (May 7)

“The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said on Saturday that the ministry embarked on vitamin A food bio-fortification to reduce death rate and boost nutrition in the country.”

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201605090673.html

The Struggle is Real: Scene from an American Food Prison – Huffington Post – By Amy Porterfield Levy and Julie Kelly (May 9)

“It says a lot about the anti-GMO movement though that their idea of a genuine struggle is shopping in an upscale grocery store, surrounded by thousands of food choices, and not being able to read a barcode label with a $600 phone because the wifi is weak.”

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-porterfield-levy/the-struggle-is-real-for-_b_9849564.html

US, China play chicken as election raises heat on trade ties – The Australian Business Review / Wall Street Journal – By William Mauldin (May 12)

“The Obama administration filed a trade complaint against China yesterday over access to the Asian giant’s market for US chicken, the latest friction point in an election year that is casting a harsh light on US economic ties with China.”

Link: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/us-china-play-chicken-as-election-raises-heat-on-trade-ties/news-story/35a463ea3928e5bd570679daf492f942

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ is a scam, you know – Washington Examiner – By James Cooper (May 6)

Link: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-dirty-dozen-is-a-scam-you-know

That Meal-Kit Company That Sends You Dinner May Be Doomed – Mother Jones – By Tom Philpott (May/June edition)

“But it remains to be seen whether enough at-home short-order cooks will bite. So far, “very few, if any,” of these meal-kit companies “are cash-flow positive…”

Link: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/04/meal-kit-apocalypse-blue-apron-purple-carrot-mark-bittman-ingredients-app

See alsohttp://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2016/05/mark-bittman-departs-vegan-meal-kit-startup-purple-carrot

GMO labeling nightmare – Washington Times – By Paul Driessen (May 10)

“The Senate should take action to prevent the damage that would result from allowing Vermont and other states to foist fringe beliefs on the rest of the country. Otherwise, anti-biotechnology activists will create serious agricultural, environmental, packaged-food manufacturing and consumer problems.”

Link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/10/paul-driessen-gmo-labeling-nightmare/?page=all

Economic integration is helping boost trade and investment in Africa – The Guardian – By Valentine Rugwabiza and Arancha González (May 10)

“While Europe is on the verge of breaking up, Africa is reaping the benefits of integrating, growing and developing its trading blocks”

Link: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/may/10/economic-integration-is-helping-boost-trade-and-investment-in-africa?mc_cid=6e9362db45&mc_eid=5139430f0d

U.S. Trade Ambassador Talks TPP’s Impact on Africa – WSJ Video (May 12)

Venezuela: Countless Wounded after 5,000 Loot Supermarket – PanAm Post (May 11)

“At Least Two Dead in Maracay following Rumors of Hard-to-Find Products”

Link: https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2016/05/11/venezuela-looting-wounded-5000-supermarket/

Monsanto, once M&A instigator, now in awkward role as possible target – Reuters – By Karl Plume and Ludwig Burger (May 12)

“Monsanto shares rallied as much as 12 percent on Thursday on new reports that Bayer AG and BASF SE were interested in the St. Louis-based company, highlighting the drive for more marriages in the sector.”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-idUSKCN0Y31IJ

Field test on for 3 more GM crops – The Daily Star (Bangladesh) – By Reaz Ahmad (May 12)

“Inspired by the success of the country’s first commercially released biotech crop — Bt brinjal — in 2013, Bangladesh is now field testing three more crops developed through applications of agro-biotechnology. These are: late blight resistant potato, Bt cotton and vitamin-A enriched Golden Rice.”

Link: http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/field-test-3-more-gm-crops-1222411