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 (as the week progresses newly added items will be in green at bottom of sections).  Be sure to check in regularly!

POLICY, REGULATORY, LABELING:

House approves federal GMO labeling bill that nullifies Vermont law – Food Navigator USA – By Elaine Watson (July 14)

“The US House of Representatives has voted to pass a federal GMO labeling bill (306:117 votes) that would pre-empt and nullify all state-led GMO labeling laws including the one that has just come into effect in Vermont.”

Food manufacturers boycott anti-GMO labeling activists in Vermont – Delta Farm Press – By Forrest Laws in Farm Press Blog (July 15)

“Most activists don’t really care whether GMO foods are safe – the science says they are. They are much more intent on using labeling requirements to further spread fear and distrust of the food supply so they can force farmers to stop growing GMO crops and reduce pesticide usage.”

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/blog/food-manufacturers-boycott-anti-gmo-labeling-activists-vermont

Non-GMO verification frequently illegal and nonsensical – Manitoba Co-Operator (Canada) – By Karen Daynard (July 18)

“Oddly enough, as taken directly from their website, “the Non-GMO Project’s verification seal is not a ‘GMO-free’ claim, it is trustworthy, defensible, transparent, and North America’s only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.” They even know that their claims aren’t necessarily true.”

Link: http://www.manitobacooperator.ca/news-opinion/opinion/non-gmo-verification-frequently-illegal-and-nonsensical/

GMO labeling may be more about marketing than transparency – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

“The organic industry has spent millions of dollars over the years to convince consumers that food containing genetically engineered ingredients are inherently more risky than their own products, in contradiction to the overwhelming scientific consensus.”

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/07/19/gmo-labeling-may-marketing-transparency/

Russia heaps restrictions on GMO imports – GlobalMeatNews.com – By Vladislav Vorotnikov (July 20)

“Russia has adopted a new law to ban imports of GM feed in war on genetically modified organisms (GMO) found in meat and feed products.”

The next GMO-labeling battleground: USDA – Politico – By Jenny Hopkinson (July 20)

“Every organization from the Grocery Manufacturers Association to the Environmental Working Group is now homing its sights on the department”

Link: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/gmo-labeling-fight-heads-to-usda-225874

Lift GM crop bans, says Productivity Commission – The Weekly Times (Australia) – By Natalie Kotsios (July 19)

“It says NSW, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT should all lift their moratoriums on GMOs, arguing there are no economic or health reasons for them.”

Link: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/cropping/lift-gm-crop-ban-says-productivity-commission/news-story/2f7c86bc7a6d62c2f31dd4a48847a6ff

What’s in a Name? Plenty, if It’s a ‘GMO.’ – National Review – By Henry I. Miller (July 20)

Link: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/438082/gmo-labeling-unnecessary-meaningless-and-misleading

GM product labelling – not in Australia – The Land (Australia) – By Colin Bettles (July 22)

Link: http://www.theland.com.au/story/4045630/gm-product-labelling-not-in-australia/

EU approves Monsanto, Bayer genetically modified soybeans – Reuters (July 22)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-grains-gmos-idUSKCN10212M

BIOTECH:

Activists to present their anti-GM mustard stand before central regulator on Monday – The Times of India – By Vishwa Mohan (July 17)

Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Activists-to-present-their-anti-GM-mustard-stand-before-central-regulator-on-Monday/articleshow/53254481.cms

Fitness and health expert: 10 science-based reasons why I’m thankful for GMOs – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/07/20/fitness-and-health-expert-10-science-based-reasons-why-im-thankful-for-gmos/

Why aren’t GMOs tested on humans? – Biology Fortified – By Layla Katiraee (July 19)

“[W]hat is exclusive or unique about GMOs that merits such rigorous testing, yet excludes other crop modification techniques?”

Link: https://www.biofortified.org/2016/07/why-arent-gmos-tested-on-humans/

GM Mosquitoes Reduce Dengue Fever Cases by 91% in Piracicaba, Brazil – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (July 20)

Link: http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14587

Opposition to GM food is killing poor people – The Irish Times – By William Reville (July 21)

“Golden rice could save lives in developing countries, but activists continue to resist it in the face of the evidence”

Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/opposition-to-gm-food-is-killing-poor-people-1.2719412

An Upgraded 3,000-Year-Old Pea Could Ease India’s Inflation Problem – Bloomberg – By Sandrine Rastello (July 19)

“Modi has yet to take a stance on genetically modified food.”

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-19/an-upgraded-3-000-year-old-pea-could-ease-india-s-inflation-problem

Chinese Scientists Push for Wider GMO Use Amid Protests – Yibada (China) – By Alvin Ybanez (July 20)

Link: http://en.yibada.com/articles/143326/20160720/chinese-scientists-push-wider-gmo-use-amid-protests.htm#ixzz4FA5oodBy

Anti-biotech hidden agenda: Link GMO feed to conventional dairy products to scare adoption of organics – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/07/22/anti-biotech-hidden-agenda-link-gmo-feed-conventional-dairy-products-scare-adoption-organics/

TRADE:

EU and U.S. seek trade deal this year, knowing large hurdles remain – Business Insider / Reuters (July 15)

Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-eu-and-us-seek-trade-deal-this-year-knowing-large-hurdles-remain-2016-7

China, US on course for continuing trade wrangles – South China Morning Post – By Zhou Xin – (July 16)

“Washington says Beijing has not done enough to warrant market economy status, while US in turn is accused of growing protectionism”

Link: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1990348/china-us-course-continuing-trade-wrangles

Britain aims to secure free trade deals with 12 countries before leaving the EU in 2019 as Australia and the US emerge at the front of the queue for deal worth billions to UK economy – Daily Mail (UK) – By Matt Dathan (July 17)

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3694227/Britain-aims-secure-free-trade-deals-12-countries-leaving-EU-Australia-emerge-queue-deal-worth-billions-UK-economy.html#ixzz4En2I6ECj

U.S. Governors Focused on Agricultural Trade – Successful Farming at Agriculture.com – By Anna McConnell (July 16)

““From Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton, they all have something to say about trade, but the governors are the best indicators,” Governor Walker says.”

Link: http://www.agriculture.com/news/crops/us-governors-focused-on-agricultural-trade

African blocs fail to agree on Free Trade Area – The East African – By James Anyanzwa (July 16)

Link: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/African-blocs-fail-to-agree-on-Free-Trade-Area/-/2558/3297410/-/lny9k0z/-/index.html

U.S. committed to TTIP, more important due to Brexit: Kerry – Reuters (July 18)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-ttip-kerry-idUSKCN0ZY139

Kerry to embark on EU roadshow to promote TTIP – EurActiv.com – By Georgi Gotev (July 18)

Link: http://www.euractiv.com/section/trade-society/news/kerry-to-embark-on-eu-roadshow-to-promote-ttip/

Key Republican skeptical of lame-duck Pacific trade vote – MarketWatch – By Robert Schroeder (July 18)

Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/key-republican-skeptical-of-lame-duck-pacific-trade-vote-2016-07-18

Showing America why the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal matters – The Australian Finance Review – By Craig Emerson (July 19)

Read more: http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/showing-america-why-the-transpacific-partnership-trade-deal-matters-20160718-gq8350#ixzz4EsZwAMMM

‘As fast as possible’ USA’s John Kerry calls for urgent transatlantic trade with Britain – Express (UK) – By Greg Heffer (July 20)

“US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday signalled America would act speedily to set up a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain.”

Link: http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/690972/US-Secretary-of-State-John-Kerry-post-Brexit-trade-deal-Theresa-May-Barack-Obama-EU

More Than a Trade Agreement – US News & World Report – By Paul Nadeau (July 19)

“Abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership means leaving Japan and the rest of Asia in the lurch.”

Link: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-07-19/tpp-is-important-for-japan-and-asia-relations-not-just-economics

Brazilian port push opens up big farm growth opportunities – The Land (Australia) – By Andrew Marshall (July 20)

“Brazil’s enviable agricultural export capacity is enjoying a port construction boom”

Link: http://www.theland.com.au/story/4040224/brazilian-port-push-opens-up-big-farm-growth-opportunities/

India and US embroiled in poultry imports row – GlobalMeatNews – By Keith Nuthall (July 21)

“India threatens to remove import restrictions on US poultry, but Washington has said it will seek to impose retaliatory duties in case New Delhi’s liberalisation falls short of global trading standards.”

China’s Soybean Imports Seen Dropping for First Time in 15 Years – Bloomberg – By Manisha Jha (July 19)

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-19/china-s-soybean-imports-seen-dropping-for-first-time-in-15-years-iqthz1a4

TTIP Negotiators Reiterate 2016 Goal, While Noting Market Access Gaps – ICTSD Bridges (July 21)

Link: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/ttip-negotiators-reiterate-2016-goal-while-noting-market-access-gaps

FOOD SECURITY, AG TECH, CROP PROTECTION, OTHER ISSUES:

Greening: Florida citrus not viable by 2019, models predict – Southeast Farm Press – By John Hart (July 19)

““We are at a tipping point. Promising research is coming out. The idea is to implement this research in stages so that we can get the growers to maintain productivity while better and better strategies come out.”

Link: http://southeastfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/greening-florida-citrus-not-viable-2019-models-predict

African farmers say they can feed the world, and we might soon need them to – Quartz Africa – By Peter Schwartzstein (July 20)

“With 60-65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land and 10% of renewable freshwater resources, Africa’s immense agricultural potential has long been a keen point of discussion among agronomists and global decision-makers.”

Link: http://qz.com/736626/african-farmers-say-they-can-feed-the-world-and-we-might-soon-need-them-to/?sf31380549=1

New Way to Boost Crop Production Doesn’t Rely on GMOs or Pesticides – MIT Tech Review – By Mike Orcutt (July 21)

“Researchers are fiddling with the plant equivalent of gut bacteria.”

Link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601930/new-way-to-boost-crop-production-doesnt-rely-on-gmos-or-pesticides/

It matters not how much oil if there’s no food or TP – Delta Farm Press – By Hembree Brandon in Farm Press Blog (July 19)

“America enjoys a level of food security that ranks it No. 1 worldwide, thanks to a lot of arable land and the continually increasing efficiency and productivity of the American farmer and the U.S. food distribution system.”

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/blog/it-matters-not-how-much-oil-if-there-s-no-food-or-tp

When Community-Supported Agriculture Is Not What It Seems – The New York Times – By Julie Moskin (July 19)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/20/dining/csa-farm-share-community-supported-agriculture.html

Wal-Mart, America’s Largest Grocer, Is Now Selling Ugly Fruit And Vegetables – NPR, The Salt – By Maria Godoy (July 20)

Link: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/07/20/486664266/walmart-world-s-largest-grocer-is-now-selling-ugly-fruit-and-veg

Obama signs Global Food Security Act – Agri-Pulse – By Stephen Davies (July 20)

Link: http://www.agri-pulse.com/Obama-signs-Global-Food-Security-Act-07202016.asp

Dow-DuPont Shareholders Approve $59 Billion Merger of Equals – Bloomberg – By Jack Kaskey (July 20)

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-20/dow-dupont-shareholders-approve-59-billion-merger-of-equals