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!

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Bayer Makes $62 Billion Bid for Monsanto – Nasdaq / Dow Jones Business News (May 23)

“German pharmaceutical and chemicals giant Bayer AG on Monday said it made an all-cash offer to acquire Monsanto Co. for $62 billion, valuing the U.S. company at a substantial premium in a deal that would create the world’s largest agrochemicals company.”

Link: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/bayer-makes-62-billion-bid-for-monsanto–5th-update-20160523-00739

Seedy business – It’s eat or be eaten for the firms that make seeds and chemicals for farmers – The Economist (May 21)

Link: http://www.economist.com/news/business/21699142-its-eat-or-be-eaten-firms-make-seeds-and-chemicals-farmers-seedy-business

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Be Obama’s Greatest Foreign Policy Achievement – TIME – By Ian Bremmer (May 23)

“Bremmer argues the TPP could help set the rules of global trade in a way that will help Americans over the long term.”

Link: http://time.com/4342247/trans-pacific-partnership-obama-asia-trip/

Cash for questions – Can freer trade soften Vietnam’s thuggish ways? – The Economist (May 21)

Link: http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21699162-can-freer-trade-soften-vietnams-thuggish-ways-cash-questions

A lot of people want to restrict free trade. But that would have serious trade-offs. – Washington Post, Monkey Cage blog – By Allison Carnegie (May 23)

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/05/23/restricting-trade-may-be-popular-but-it-would-have-many-bad-consequences/

More than ever, the world needs genetically modified crops – The Globe and Mail (Canada) – By Doug Saunders (May 21)

“Small-hold farmers in the developing world are increasingly savvy, well-connected and modern.”

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/more-than-ever-the-world-needs-genetically-modified-crops/article30106286/

Editorial: Some answers — and more questions — about GMOs – Chicago Tribune (May 20)

“[W]e don’t see how a basic “GMO” label will help consumers make truly informed purchases.”

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-gmo-food-safety-study-edit-0523-md-20160520-story.html

Why biotech crops are here to stay – GMA (Philippines) – By Regina Layug-Rosero (May 20)

Link: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/567061/scitech/science/why-biotech-crops-are-here-to-stay

EPA shifting from science to ‘public perception’ model on pesticides? – Delta Farm Press – By Forrest Laws (May 19)

“Farmers are losing crop protection chemicals at an alarming rate, often due to what are being called increasingly arbitrary decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency acting outside of FIFRA.”
African beekeeping stops mites wiping out hives – SciDevNet – By Inga Vesper (May 19)
“Unlike Western beekeepers, African ones allow bees to abandon hives”

Making Hens Cage-Free? You’ll Shell Out for Eggs – Wall Street Journal – By Jayson Lusk (May 18)

“Massachusetts wants to ban so-called battery cages, but shoppers may resist paying for chicken amenities.”

Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/making-hens-cage-free-youll-shell-out-for-eggs-1463611041

GMOs: A Sweet Debate – DTN, Progressive Farmer – By Chris Clayton (May 23)

“Sugarbeets a Focus in Fight Over GMO Food Ingredient Labels”

Link: https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/article/2016/05/23/sugarbeets-focus-fight-gmo-food

Production of Coke halted in Venezuela for lack of sugar – Reuters (May 24)

“Venezuela is in the midst of a deep recession, and spontaneous demonstrations and looting have become more common amid worsening food shortages, frequent power cuts and the world’s highest inflation.”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-coca-cola-venezuela-idUSKCN0YE2Q6

How Monsanto’s CEO Thinks We Can Feed the World – Fortune – By Beth Kowitt (May 17)

Link: http://fortune.com/2016/05/17/monsanto-ceo-feeding-planet/

Farmers must lead GM debate – The Scottish Farmer – By Gordon Davidson (May 22)

Link: http://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/farmers-must-lead-gm-debate.28837149 (registration required)

Royal Society calls for review of European GM ban – BBC News – By Pallab Ghosh (May 24)

“Prof Venki Ramakrishnan said the science of genetic modification had been misunderstood by the public and it was time to set the record straight.”

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36359682

The Observer view on the GM crops debate – The Observer (UK) – Editorial (May 21)

“Europe can no longer turn its back on the benefits of genetically modified crops”

Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/22/observer-view-on-genetically-modified-gm-crops

In wake of National Academies’ GMO report, is public skepticism of biotech waning? – Genetic Literacy Project – By David Zaruck (May 24)

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/05/24/wake-national-academies-gmo-report-public-skepticism-biotech-waning/

Brazil’s new top diplomat shifts focus from ideology to trade – Reuters – By Anthony Boadle (May 23)

“Jose Serra’s first foreign visit to Argentina on Monday focused on restoring South America’s Mercosur customs union to its purpose as a free trade area, after Venezuela’s entry in 2012 turned it into a left-leaning political forum.”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-politics-diplomacy-idUSKCN0YE0DN

Canada approves fishmeal and fish oil feed ingredients from biotech salmon – Feed Navigator – By Aerin Curtis (May 24)

The AquAdvantage salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies has been approved for use as a feed ingredient in Canada.

Cotton season may have forced delay in GM royalty cap – Business Standard (India) – by Rajesh Bhayani & Sanjeeb Mukherjee (May 24)

“The government on March 18 had issued a notification capping royalties of GM cotton seed technology companies at 10% for the first five years”

Link: http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/cotton-season-may-have-forced-delay-in-gm-royalty-cap-116052400889_1.html

Public Perception of Farmers Still Highly Favorable – AgWeb.com – By Ben Potter (May 24)

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/public-perception-of-farmers-still-highly-favorable-naa-ben-potter/

‘GMO’ Labeling: Good Intentions And Ignorance Can Yield Bad Outcomes – Forbes.com – By Henry I. Miller (May 25)

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/05/25/gmo-labeling-good-intentions-and-ignorance-can-yield-bad-outcomes/#5feb79515e7d

Time to end the fight over GMO labeling – The Hill, Congress Blog – By Elliot Entis (May 24)

Link: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/280928-time-to-end-the-fight-over-gmo-labeling

Kenya urged to speed up the commercialisation of GM foods – Daily Nation (Kenya) – By James Kariuki (May 25)

Link: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/commercialise-of-GM-foods/-/1056/3217804/-/wjj7k9z/-/index.html

Notable & Quotable: ‘How the EU Starves Africa’ – Wall Street Journal

‘The adoption of restrictive policies across Africa has been pursued under the pretext of protecting the environment and human health.’

Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-how-the-eu-starves-africa-1464131490

Make farming a rewarding career for Africa’s youth – SciDevNet – By Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (May 25)

Link: http://www.scidev.net/global/farming/opinion/african-agriculture-achieve-its-potential-1.html

Japan, EU to commit to concluding trade deal as soon as possible – The Japan Times / Kyodo (May 24)

Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/24/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-eu-commit-concluding-trade-deal-soon-possible/#.V0cjmJErKhd

Why Do Some Continue to Deny the Evidence That GMOs Are Safe? – Huffington Post – By David Ropeik (May 23)

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-ropeik/why-do-some-continue-to-d_b_10010492.html

Japan, US reaffirm G-7 role in driving global economy – Nikkei Asian Review (May 26)

Link: http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-US-reaffirm-G-7-role-in-driving-global-economy

Malawi’s seed sector calls on govt to adopt GM crops – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (May 25)

Link: http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14444

From hardy pigs to super-crops, gene editing poses new EU dilemma – Reuters – By Ben Hirschler (May 26)

“If Europe does that [classifies gene-editing as GMO], I think they will probably send themselves into the stone age of agricultural biotechnology…”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-gene-editing-farming-idUSKCN0YH1FS