News items related to ag tech, 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 newest items will be in green at bottom of sections).  Be sure to come back and check the page during the week.

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Oh my.  It does beg the question how the question was asked in the survey though:

The surprising number of American adults who think chocolate milk comes from brown cows – Washington Post, Wonkblog – By Caitlin Dewey (June 15)

“Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows… that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people. The equivalent of the population of Pennsylvania (and then some!)… the most surprising thing about this figure may actually be that it isn’t higher.” – Link

 

And, then looking at the need for further public eduction on food and agriculture, the movie Food Evolution narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson makes its debut this week:

MOVIE REVIEW: “Food Evolution” – Huffington Post – By Kevin Folta (June 13)

“A film about an enabling food technology, the scientists that support it, and the movement sworn to stop it.” – Link

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains GMOs in clip from documentary ‘Food Evolution’

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TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

Wilbur Ross’s Cool Explanation of Trump’s Heated Trade Talk – Wall Street Journal – By Gerald F. Seib (June 19)

“Commerce secretary tries to put the administration’s combative stance in context” – Link (subscription required)

British trade minister Fox travels to U.S in pursuit of free trade deal – Reuters (June 18) – Link

 

China opens door to imports of two GMO crops – MarketWatch/WSJ (June 14)

“The decision announced Wednesday affects genetically engineered corn and soybean varieties developed by Dow Chemical Co. and Monsanto Co. It comes after Beijing agreed to speed reviews of biotechnology applications as part of a trade deal with the Trump administration last month.” – Link

After AGOA: SA must prepare for two-way free trade agreements with US – Daily Maverick (S. Africa) – By Peter Fabricius (June 18)

“The Trump Administration has signalled its impatience to replace the AGOA preferential trade deal with Africa with normal two-way free trade agreements.” – Link

Trump’s Cuba rollback announcement draws chorus of criticism – Delta Farm Press – By Forrest Laws (June 17)
“Farm, congressional, conservative groups unite in challenging Trump’s new rollback of last administration’s Cuba overtures.” – Link
China Think Tank Says Trade Detente With U.S. May Not Endure – Bloomberg (June 19)

“China isn’t likely to have a trade war with the U.S. this year, though 2018 is harder to predict, according to former Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo.” – Link

US in trade talks with Asian nations to replace TPP, commerce secretary says – South China Morning Post – By Robert Delaney (June 20)

“The new trade discussions target multiple countries in Asia, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters at the 2017 SelectUSA investment summit” – Link

LIGHTHIZER WARNING: BUY GMOS OR EXPECT A FIGHT – Successful Farming – By Chuck Abbott (June 16)

“The Trump administration will attack overseas regulations that restrict the export of GMO crops and other products resulting from American technological innovation…” – Link

After years of talks, Japan, EU near ‘broad agreement’ on free trade pact – Reuters (June 21) – Link

 

AG, AG TECH, PRODUCTION, PROTECTION, RELATED ISSUES:

 

Glyphosate ban ‘could cost UK farmers almost £1bn a year’ – Farming UK (June 13)

“…negatively impact UK GDP and agriculture, at a time of real uncertainty for British farmers.” Link

Japan starts growing genome-edited rice plants outdoors in national first – The Mainichi (Japan) (June 3)

“The process is part of a national strategy to further develop agriculture and expand exports. The final target is a 50 percent increase in the yield of crops.” – Link

Australian farmer’s weed-destroying invention draws world interest – ABC News (Australia) – By Prue Adams (June 19)

“Extensive research through the University of Western Australia has shown the machine kills 95 per cent of the weed seeds collected in the chaff.” – Link

India to ease cattle slaughter ban after backlash over threat to exports, livelihoods – ABC News (Australia) – By James Bennett (June 16)

“The Government now concedes it did not anticipate the impact of the ban, which has been condemned as religiously-motivated and an unconstitutional attack on freedom of religion.” – Link

Invest in new technology, not bigger farms, to reap ag profits – The Land (Australia) – By Andrew Marshall (June 20)

“To be profitable today producers probably still need to get bigger, but real gains come with investing seriously in agricultural technology says the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group.” – Link

East Africa: Why Did Tanzanian Farmers Demand Growing GM Crops? – allAfrica / The Monitor (Uganda) – By Michael J. Ssali (June 18) – Link

 

POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

Glyphosate Battle – Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence – Reuters – By Kate Kelland (June 14)

“The World Health Organization’s cancer agency says a common weedkiller is “probably carcinogenic.” The scientist leading that review knew of fresh data showing no cancer link – but he never mentioned it and the agency did not take it into account…. The IARC review “ignored multiple years of additional data from the largest and most comprehensive study on farmer exposure to pesticides and cancer.”” – Link

WHO’s IARC under fire for ignoring exculpatory data on glyphosate: Should it be reformed or abolished? – Genetic Literacy Project – By  

“…scientists who examined the IARC monograph itself found themselves taken aback, even shocked, at the way in which some of the findings had been presented. Indeed, as one leading scientist said, they got this “totally wrong” and pointed to the clearly biased selection of studies IARC reviewed…” – Link

Spies In The Field: As Farming Goes High-Tech, Espionage Threat Grows – NPR, The Salt – By Bryan Thompson (June 8)

“Intellectual property is often hard to protect, no matter what form it takes: films, books, consumer products. The technology used in our food system, however, presents a unique challenge.” – Link

Dow, DuPont merger wins antitrust approval with conditions – CNBC / Reuters (June 15) – Link
An Obama food-science policy worth keeping – Chicago Tribune – By Hank Campbell (June 11)

“That beneficial policy relates to modernizing how genetic alteration of organisms is approved.” – Link

Judge orders Arla Foods to halt ‘Live unprocessed’ campaign: ‘Ads create false impression that rbST is something foreign and dangerous’ – Food Navigator USA – By Elaine Watson (June 15)

“Arla Foods has been ordered to halt its new $30m ‘Live Unprocessed’ ad campaign – which makes a virtue of using milk from cows that have not been fed the growth hormone rBST – in the wake of legal action* filed by rbST maker Eli Lilly (Elanco).” – Link

PETA and HSUS End the Week In Crosshairs – Drovers – By Sara Brown (June 16)

“Livestock producers often find themselves the target for Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but this week marked two instances where these organizations were the ones in the crosshairs instead.” – Link

Farm, biotech groups tell USDA: Start over on regulatory reform – Agri-Pulse – By Philip Brasher (June 21)

“A plan that the Obama administration developed to reform USDA’s biotechnology regulatory process could wind up stifling innovation instead of making it easier to get low-risk products to market, the plan’s intended goal, according to farmers, agribusiness groups and the biotech industry.” – Link