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!

We’re doing a bit of catch-up on recent news of interest as last week was the 11th annual Global Farmer Roundtable.  The Global Farmer Network hosted thirteen international farmers for a great week of dialogue and 2016-gfr-group-shotactivity during the week of the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa (Oct 10-14).

The GFN also announced the 2016 Kleckner Award recipient, Maria Giraudo from Argentina, a no-till advocate who tells a passionate story as explained in her column from that week – click here to read.

Check out GFNs social media postings from the week at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Another important item to mention from the week of the World Food Prize:  Dr. Kevin Folta Honored at the 2016 Borlaug CAST Communication Award Ceremony – Congratulations to Dr. Folta, very much deserved!

This week’s Must Read post title was inspired by the first item included below; happened across The New Yorker piece by Bernard Avishai that reminds us that in the modern world supply lines cross an awful lot of borders…

TRADE, TRADE ISSUES:

The Meaning of Open Trade and Open Borders – The New Yorker – By Bernard Avishai (Oct 17)

“The product manager of the Chevrolet Volt… told me in 2009 that the car was a kind of Lego build: the design was developed by an international team in Michigan, the chassis came from the U.S., the battery cells from Korea, the small battery-charging engine from Germany, the electrical harnesses from Mexico, suspension parts from Canada, and smartphone-integration software from Silicon Valley.”

Link: http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-meaning-of-open-trade-and-open-borders

How U.S. Farmers Would Gain From the Trans-Pacific Partnership – Wall Street Journal, Interview (Oct 16)

“Darci Vetter argues that the accord would expand access for American agricultural exports”

Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-u-s-farmers-would-gain-from-the-trans-pacific-partnership-1476670321

Abe pitches TPP ratification as critical to national and regional growth – The Japan Times / Jiji (Oct 17)

“Abe said closer economic ties between countries that share basic values such as freedom and democracy would lead to stability in the region.”

Link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/17/business/abe-pitches-tpp-ratification-critical-national-regional-growth/#.WAZHkOgrKUk

Canadian executives worried that protectionism could hurt trade – The Globe and Mail (Canada) – By Richard Blackwell (Oct 17)

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/canadian-executives-worried-that-protectionism-could-hurt-trade/article32383150/

US Election Rhetoric Alarms Asia-Pacific Partners – Voice of America – By Mary Alice Salinas (Oct 17)

“Rhetoric on the U.S. presidential campaign trail has left many in the Asia-Pacific region wondering whether America’s commitment to economic growth and security in the region will survive into another presidency, regardless of who wins.”

Link: http://www.voanews.com/a/us-election-rancor-alarms-asia-pacific-partners/3554316.html

U.S., EU close to overcoming sticking points in trade talks: U.S envoy – Reuters (Oct 18)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-usa-ttip-idUSKCN12I2FZ?il=0

Tiny Belgian region holds up EU-Canada trade deal – The Washington Post – By Raf Casert, AP (Oct 18)

““If we don’t agree with Canada, with whom are we going to agree? I don’t understand,” said Slovak Economics Minister Peter Ziga, who chaired Tuesday’s meeting.”

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/eu-trade-chief-not-there-yet-to-sign-eu-canada-deal/2016/10/18/1f806b1e-94ff-11e6-9cae-2a3574e296a6_story.html

POLICY, REGULATORY, LABELING, OTHER RELATED ISSUES:

GMOs and beer calories? When labeling backfires – Chicago Tribune – By Steve Chapman (Oct 12)

“A mandatory label for organic produce that says ‘Produced with animal feces’ could be literally true, but would also stigmatize the products at issue.”

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-gmo-labeling-beer-calories-chapman-perspec-1013-20161012-column.html

Monsanto’s Smaller Rivals See Big Opportunity Amid Seed M&A – Bloomberg – By Jack Kaskey (Oct 12)

“Consolidation by the big companies is an opportunity for independents to expand”

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-11/little-seed-companies-see-big-fortune-in-industry-consolidation

France asks ECJ to decide if plants from new breeding techniques are GMOs – Feed Navigator – By Jane Byrne (Oct 14)

“France has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the legal classification of products generated by new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs).”

In Boulder County, An Effort To Ban GMO Crops Moves Ahead – KUNC / Harvest Public Media – By Luke Runyon (Oct 14)

“The county’s commissioners directed staffers to draft the plan following a series of heated public hearings in early 2016, where scientists argued farmers were being unfairly targeted and local activists said the crops in question threaten the county’s agricultural viability, and its reputation as an environmentally-conscious community.”

Link: http://www.kunc.org/post/boulder-county-effort-ban-gmo-crops-moves-ahead

Dannon retreats from sustainable ag practices – Drovers – By U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (Oct 17)

“This is just marketing puffery, not any true innovation that improves the actual product offered to consumers”

Link: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/news/dannon-retreats-sustainable-ag-practices

Fake Trials, Brought to You by the Anti-GMO Movement – National Review – By Julie Kelly (Oct 11)

“The eco-warriors are getting increasingly desperate in their histrionic attacks on science.”

Link: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/440934/anti-gmo-activists-stage-fake-monsanto-tribunal-hague

Leaked Emails Show Organic Yogurt Producer Pushed Clinton on GMO Labeling – US News & World Report – By Kimberly Leonard (Oct 12)

“In pressuring the Clinton campaign, Gary Hirshberg, chairman and former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm, noted in an email sent in December 2015 that he had helped raise nearly $400,000 for the former secretary of state.”

Link: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-10-12/wikileaks-emails-stonyfield-farms-gary-hirshberg-pushed-hillary-clinton-toward-bernie-sanders-gmo-stance

GMO Debate is About Consumers, Not Sustainability – Farm Journal’s MILK – By Mike Opperman (Oct 18)

“While stakeholders within and outside of agriculture have gone to great lengths to educate consumers about GMOs and their impact on sustainability, the speed at which a huge consumer population can learn is much slower than the speed at which a company can take advantage of the ignorance.”

Link: http://www.milkbusiness.com/blog/gmo-debate-about-consumers-not-sustainability

AG TECH, PRODUCTION, RELATED ISSUES:

No one asks the farmer – The Indian Express (India) – By Harish Damodaran (Oct 17)

“How is it that GM technology is fine in imported videshi oil, but not if employed for desi mustard oil?”

Link: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/no-one-asks-the-farmers-genetically-modified-gm-seeds-mustard-canola-oil-3086481/

Facing Climate Change, Tanzania Can’t Afford to Fear GM Crops – WIRED – By Megan Molteni (Oct 14)

“Last week, Tanzania planted its first ever genetically modified crop—a drought-resistant white corn hybrid.”

Link: https://www.wired.com/2016/10/facing-climate-change-tanzania-cant-afford-fear-gm-crops/

Zimbabwe should embrace GMO: Expert – The Financial Gazette (Zimbabwe) – By Tabitha Mutenga (Oct 13)

Link: http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/zimbabwe-should-embrace-gmo-expert/

Livestock diseases are ‘untold story’ of food waste – Feedstuffs – By Jacqui Fatka (Oct 12)

Link: http://feedstuffs.com/story-livestock-diseases-are-untoldfood-waste-45-147883

What Michael Pollan gets wrong about Big Ag – Huffington Post – By David Festa, Sr VP at Environmental Defense Fund (Oct 12)

“[O]ur food system is changing, more than Pollan acknowledges…Change will never occur if we stay entrenched in political ideologies.”

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-michael-pollan-gets-wrong-about-big-ag_us_57fe86ece4b0985f6d1568e5?

Sweet potato Vitamin A research wins World Food Prize – BBC – 

“Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is considered to be one of the most harmful forms of malnutrition in the developing world. It can cause blindness, limits growth, weakens immunity and increases mortality.”

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37619154

First Harvest of Arctic® Golden Apples Completed – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (Oct 12)

Link: http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14838

Researcher finds way to boost protein yield per soybean plant – Feed Navigator – By Jane Byrne (Oct 17)

“US researchers have shown how to increase the amount of protein yield and quality in soybeans.”