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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Note: For the last two full weeks of July the ‘Must Read’ section with recent news of interest is going to be combined into one posting.

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TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

Trump administration unveils goals in renegotiating NAFTA – The Washington Post – By Ana Swanson (July 17)

“Democrats were critical of the measures, saying they didn’t go far enough… Republicans were more positive about the statement, though some still had criticisms.” – Link

EU, Brazil to propose farm subsidies overhaul to appease developing nations – Politico – By Simon Marks (July 17)

“The European Union and Brazil will tell the World Trade Organization on Monday they are ready to shake up generous farm subsidies to reform a global trade landscape widely seen as stacked against emerging countries.” – Link

China Border Tensions Cloud Asia Trade Pact Talks in India – Bloomberg – By Shruti Srivastava (July 18)

“The challenge for RCEP is that China would want a quick end to the deal so that it can establish itself as a leader of world trade,” said Palit. “Japan, New Zealand won’t be in favor of concluding early as they would want a high quality agreement. However RCEP is a low-quality agreement as it is not going beyond tariff cuts and investment.” – Link

US announces start of NAFTA talks in Washington on Aug 16 – CNBC / Reuters (July 19)

“They will take place in Washington from Aug. 16-20, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.” – Link

US and China emerge from trade talks without agreement – BBC News (July 20)

“The two sides did not issue a joint statement or action plan after the meeting and cancelled scheduled press conferences.” – Link

Food shipments halted at Chinese ports increases by 325% – Food Navigator Asia – By RJ Whitehead (July 19)

“Some 35,000 tonnes of imported food products failed to pass Chinese quality inspections last year, according to food safety authorities.” – Link

New agreement will allow US rice exports to China – BBC News (July 21)

“China has agreed to allow imports of rice from the US for the first time… It follows trade talks between the two countries that resulted in little progress on other issues.” – Link

Industry players outline their wish lists for ‘NAFTA 2.0’ and express anxiety about renegotiation – Food Navigator USA – By Elizabeth Crawford (July 27)

“While most agricultural industry leaders gathered on Capitol Hill yesterday urged lawmakers and the current administration to tread lightly when it comes to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, some indicated specific areas for improvement.” – Link

Japan slaps 50% tariff on U.S. frozen beef, first such action in 14 years – MarketWatch / Wall Street Journal – By Yoko Kubota (July 28) – Link

 

 

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

Let’s Talk About GMOs And The Environment – GMO Answers (June 30)

“GMOs are one of the best tools farmers have to help protect and preserve our natural resources. Learn how they help us address some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges.” – Link

This Is How Gene-Editing Will Change The Food You Eat – Forbes.com – By Jon Markman (July 11)

“In the near future, scientists will engineer food that grows faster and does not spoil. This is the promise of CRISPR/Cas 9, a game-changing gene-editing tool.” – Link

Fall Armyworms on March Across Africa – Voice of America – By Sora Halake (July 14)

“A recently arrived species of armyworm has spread to 21 African countries and threatens the continent’s main food staple, maize…” – Link

Making the case for sustainability in ‘industrial agriculture’ – Genetic Literacy Project – By Ted Nordhaus (July 21)

“Failure to understanding these basic dynamics too often results in advocacy and policy that is simply misguided. Debates about specific agricultural technologies and environmental impacts often lose sight of the forest through the trees in terms of the relationship between food production and the environment.” – Link

SoftBank Vision Fund Leads $200 Million Bet on Indoor Farms – Bloomberg – By Selina Wang (July 19)

“The SoftBank Group Corp. chief’s Vision Fund is leading a $200 million investment in Silicon Valley startup Plenty, which says it has cracked the code on growing crops indoors super efficiently…. In recent years several companies including Atlanta-based Podponics, Vancouver’s LocalGarden and Chicago-area FarmedHere have shut down indoor farms because they weren’t economically viable.” – Link

 

POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

China approves two more GMO crops for import, DuPont disappointed – Reuters – By Dominique Patton (July 17)

“But it leaves four other products owned by Monsanto, DuPont and Dow still on a waiting list pending approval from Beijing.” – Link

Mark Zuckerberg Visitas a Cattle Ranch – AgWeb – By Sara Brown (July 14)

“Technology farmers and ranchers use was obviously of interesting to Zuckerberg.” – Link

The Organic Industry Is in Turmoil – National Review – By Julie Kelly (July 12)

“The [Washington] Post reported that the fraudulent imports were “large enough to constitute a meaningful proportion of the U.S. supply of those commodities,” a troubling development that should raise serious questions about the veracity of the organic label…” – Link

How Berkeley-led academics conspired with anti-GMO groups to attack Food Evolution movie – Genetic Literacy Project – By Stephan Neidenbach (July 17)

“A University of California Berkeley PhD candidate wrote a widely publicized letter attacking the science documentary Food Evolution in June (signed by more than 40 other academics) at the behest of the very groups exposed in the film, without disclosing her connection…” – Link

Non-GMO Project Is Spreading Fake News Again But Still Has A Grip On Our Food Supply – Forbes.com – By Kavin Senapathy (July 13)

“The Non-GMO Project is among the most ubiquitous fringe organizations in North America.” – Link

Judge dismisses suit against General Mills over ‘natural’ oats label in granola bars – Minneapolis Star-Tribune – By Kristen Leigh Painter (July 17)

“…the plaintiffs’ particular claims made in the case “are simply not plausible.” [Judge] Davis said the plaintiffs’ argument holds the Nature Valley bars to more stringent standards than the federal government holds organic products. Foods labeled as organic are allowed to contain chemical pesticide residue of less than 5 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s tolerance level.” – Link

EU’s biggest farmer slams GM policy – The Scottish Farmer (July 19)

“Europe’s policy on GM crops ‘discriminates’ against the burgeoning arable sector in its new eastern member states, Romania’s largest farmer has claimed.” – Link

(*Note – Lucian Buzdugan is a Global Farmer Network member)

African biosafety agencies move to bridge GMO communication gap – The Independent (Uganda) – By Isaac Khisa (July 20) – Link