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.

____

Given the July 4th holiday in the U.S. delayed news postings a bit and that was not started until Thursday the 6th, we’re just going to combine this week and next week into a singular page.  Enjoy.

_____

 

TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

EU and Japan reach free trade deal – BBC News (July 6)

“However, few specific details are known and a full, workable agreement may take some time. Two of the most important sectors are Japanese cars and, for Europe, EU farming goods into Japan… Even once the agreement is fully signed, the deal is likely to have in place long transition clauses of up to 15 years to allow sectors in both countries time to adjust to the new outside competition.” – Link

A new trade deal between the EU and Japan – The Economist (July 8 edition)

“Besides slashing tariffs on cheese and cars, it sends a message to Donald Trump” – Link

Global Trade Rebounds Despite Trump’s Protectionist Threats – Bloomberg – By Enda Crran (July 5) – Link

US Farmers Plow Through Uncertain Trade Environment – VOA News – By Kane Farabaugh (June 29) – Link

America’s trade partners are less aggressive under Trump – CNNMoney – By Ivana Kottsaova (July 5)

“President Trump’s aggressive stance on global trade may be working in America’s favor.” – Link

Brazil: Main Points of Mercosur-EU Trade Deal Need to Be Concluded in December – VOA / Reuters (July 6) – Link

Trump’s trade threats appear to be working — for now – Washington Post, Wonkblog – By Elizabeth Winkler (July 7)

“The world’s largest economies have responded to Trump’s trade threats with less protectionism, not more, according to a new study by Global Trade Alert, which has monitored protectionism among countries in the Group of 20 since 2008.” – Link

Merkel reiterates support for US-EU trade deal – St. Louis Post-Dispatch / AP (July 11)

“The dpa news agency reported Tuesday that Merkel told a business audience in Bavaria that President Donald Trump’s administration had signaled it is ready to negotiate and that “for me a Trans-Atlantic agreement remains on the daily agenda.”” – Link

US formally demands FTA renegotiation – The Korea Times – By Park Hyong-ki (July 13)

“The United States has officially requested South Korea to start the “process of negotiating to remove barriers to U.S. trade and consider needed amendments” to the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement (KORUS FTA).” – Link

 

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

Cows of the future: Florida scientists bid to create genetically-modified, heat-resistant cows which will boost beef industry – FirstPost (India) (July 3) – Link

NIPGR develops Genetically Modified rice that can reduce phosphorus fertilizer usage – Dept of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology (India) – Link

Genetic engineering tool generates antioxidant-rich purple rice – Science Magazine – Link

Amish farmers square off against Big Organic in milk battle – The Washington Post – By Peter Whoriskey (July 5)

“Why did the amount of organic milk rise almost three times as fast as the number of organic cows?” – Link

Genetically Engineered Moths Coming to a Cabbage Patch Near You – MIT Technology Review – By Emily Mullin (July 7)

“Open-air tests of self-destructing moths mark a new frontier for GMOs.” – Link

New cassava varieties to ease hunger pangs – MediaMax (Kenya) – By Wahinya Henry (July 3)

“…disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced varieties are expected to improve the livelihoods and health status of   Kenyans and in Africa.” – Link

Queensland breakthrough brings golden glow to new provitamin A-rich variety – The Land (Australia) – By Mike Foley (July 8)

“What we’ve done is take a gene from a banana that originated in Papua New Guinea and is naturally very high in provitamin A, but has small bunches, and inserted it into a Cavendish banana…” – Link

Bananas with boosted vitamin A developed in Queensland to save African lives (ABC News (Australia) – By Louisa Rebgetz (July 6) – Link

Results of gene editing could be seen in livestock industry in a few years – The Land (Australia) – By Lucy Kinbacher July 10) – Link

“I would hope that sanity will rule the day because DNA is safe, we have been eating it since the beginning of time and there is nothing toxic being made…“Our focus has been to use natural (science elements) that already exist to improve the animals in ways that we can’t.” – Link

6000 farmers cultivating Bt Brinjal in Bangladesh – The Financial Express (Bangledesh) (July 10) – Link

Zapping Noxious Weeds On Organic Farms Is Harder Than You Think – NPR, The Salt / Northwest Public Radio – By Courtney Flatt (July 10)

“We’re struggling. We’ve got a couple of [organic] fields that have some real thistle problems…This is the third time this year that Hunton has tine-weeded this field. It’s an all-day job. In his conventional wheat fields, he can spray once and be done with it. “We use a lot of steel and diesel to control weeds…”” – Link

Talking Dicamba With Farmers — What I Learned – Medium – By Robb Fraley (July 11)

“Importantly, what I heard from the vast majority of the growers, consultants and academicians that I’ve met and spoken with is this is an important tool and it can be used effectively and safely.” – Link

East African scientists turn to gene sequencing against ‘Ebola of plants’ – CNN, Marketplace Africa – By Kieron Monks (July 11)

“The outbreak could have a catastrophic impact if it continues to spread. But local specialists are working with an international coalition and state-of-the-art technology to defeat it.” – Link

 

POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

Food Evolution – HawaiiFarmers Daughter – By Joni Kamiya (June 27)

“It’s a movie of hope for the future and a challenge for many to face the reality of what they may believe.” – Link

Review – Documentary ‘Food Evolution’ turns to reason to discuss GMO controversy – Los Angeles Times – By Kenneth Turan (June 29)

“But taking as his theme a quote attributed to Mark Twain that posits, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled,” filmmaker Kennedy wants us to consider the notion that much of what we feel about GMOs may be wrong.” – Link

Opinion: GMO opponents in ‘frenzied heat’ trying to discredit Food Evolution movie – Genetic Literacy Project – By Joan Conrow (June 29) – Link

Anti-biotech group uses big tobacco strategy to refute GM research – Western Producer (Canada) – By Stuart Smith (June 29)

“The USRTK [US Right to Know] is a U.S. shell organization (funded by more than $400,000 per year from the organic industry) created to attack academic research on the benefits of biotechnology and genetically modified crops. The organization works to attack, discredit and scare academics.” – Link

Fear-based food labels do far more harm than good – Delaware news Journal – By Kent Messer (June 30)

“The goal? Distinguish their products from those of their competitors, and drive up sales in the process. While these tactics are often touted in the context of providing “transparency” for the consumer, they aren’t always truthful or based in science.” – Link

Farmers Fight to Plant GE Maize MON810 in Italy – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (June 28) – Link

‘Nano scare’: Scientists blast Friends of the Earth for ‘facile’ infant formula claims – Food Navigator Asia – By Gary Scattergood (July 3)

“Reports that some infant formula products on sale in Australia and New Zealand contain potentially ‘dangerous’ nanoscale particles have been dismissed by regulators and scientists — with one branding it blatant ‘scaremongering’.” – Link

No gluten-free hosts for Eucharist, Vatican says, but GMOs OK – France24 / AFP (July 8) – Link

‘Nigeria yet to tap benefits of biotechnology’ – The Nation (Nigeria) – By Blessing Olaifa and Olugbenga Adanikin (July 9) – Link

Biotechnology a key to food security – Sun Star (Philippines) – By Ace June Rell S. Perz (July 9)

“…scientific technology gives farmers a fighting chance to cope with the many challenges and obstacles they face in farming.” – Link

USDA to publish draft of GMO labeling rule this fall – Food Navigator USA – By Elaine Watson (July 11)

USDA will publish a draft of its proposed federal GMO labeling rule in the fall of this year (which will be subject to public comment) and says it is “working hard to meet the schedule in order to issue a final rule on the law in July 2018.” – Link

MEPs oppose GM herbicide resistant soybean imports – Food Navigator – By Jane Byrne (July 12)

“Environment MEPs have called on the EU Commission not to authorize imports of products into the EU made from herbicide resistant soybean, DAS-68416-4.” – Link

Science role in food is ‘urgent’, claims tech body – FoodManufacture.co.uk – By Noli Dinkovski (July 10)

“There is a “clear and urgent” need for science and technology to play a role in sustainable food and food security, according to a report by the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST).” – Link

Opinion: The Non-GMO Project – Creating fake news at the grocery store – Agri-Pulse – By Randy Krotz (July 6)

“Going to the grocery store has become a parallel experience to reading political opinions online – half truths, emotional visuals, and the ability to exist in an echo chamber only interacting with others just like you.” – Link

“GUEST ARTICLE: Can the food industry learn from the GMO story? Five ways to earn trust in gene editing – Food Navigator USA – By Charlie Arnot, CEO, The Center for Food Integrity, 12-Jul-2017

“If you care about GMO labeling, you only have a few more days to respond to USDA’s 30 questions* about how to implement the new law. The looming deadline is both a stark reminder of the controversy around GMOs that brought the food industry to this point and a cue to learn valuable lessons that can be applied to the tremendous opportunity of gene editing.” – Link