News items related to ag tech, biotech, trade – and perhaps some other interesting topics 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).  Check the page during the week for updates.

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Sept 13 – big news for GFN member Giorgio Fidenato from Italy!  Congratulations!

European court sides with Italian farmer pushing GM crops – Washington Post / AP – By Vanessa Gera (Sept 13) – Link

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In the US, first Harvey hit Texas, now Hurricane Irma going over Florida and perhaps more parts of the Southeast US – as of time of this typing… still awaiting news on it’s overall impact and how agricultural areas are affected.

As GFN said before, it goes without saying that the thoughts and support of everyone are with all those affected by the storms here, and of course from natural disasters wherever they may happen around the world.  The impact on agriculture and food security brought by natural disasters are profound.  Reliable trade and infrastructure routes are key components to not only daily life, but working through and past catastrophes.

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Hurricane Irma could devastate Florida agriculture – Southeast Farm Press / Bloomberg – By Alan Bjerga (Sept 8)

“Florida accounts for 10% of nation’s land dedicated to fresh fruits and vegetables.” – Link

Thousands of Texas Cattle May Have Died in Wake of Harvey – AgWeb / AP (Sept 8) – Link

Photos Show Destruction of Hurricane Harvey – Southeast Farm Press – By Ron Smith (Sept 1) – Link

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TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

Trump turns trade into bargaining chip – The Hill – By Katie Bo Williams (Sept 6)

“Increasingly using trade as a point of leverage to win concessions on national security and foreign affairs.” – Link

Commission urges UK to recognise geographical indications post-Brexit – Food Navigator – By Katy Askew (Sept 11)

“The European Commission has called on the UK to guarantee the protected status of food products that have been registered with the EU’s geographical indications (GIs) after Brexit.” – Link

Smooth Sailing as Port Opens to Larger Ships – Wall Street Journal – By Paul Berger (Sept 7)

“The Theodore Roosevelt is the largest ship to visit ports along the East Coast” – Link

Mexican ambassador: Relationship with Trump is improving – The Hill – By Rafael Bernal (Sept 10) – Link

Congressional Democrats have gone full-Trump on free trade – Washington Examiner – By Brandon Arnold (Sept 7)

“[I]nstead of embracing the pro-trade trend among their supporters, they have instead opted to double-down on President Trump’s appeal to protectionism.” – Link

Asia-Pacific ministers admit no RCEP agreement by year-end – Bangkok Post / Kyodo News (Sept 10)

“The RCEP participating countries abandoned the target of concluding the negotiations within this year due to differences in tariff reduction or elimination targets, as well as services to be opened up…” – Link

Latin America may be where Europe’s trade luck runs out – Politico Europe – By Hans von der Burchard and Jakob Hanke (Sept 6)

“EU has an ambitious goal: Trade deals with Mexico and South American bloc.” – Link

American Farmers Hoping for Economic Gains from NAFTA Talks – Voice of America (Sept 10) – Link

Israel and China sign $300 million ‘clean-tech’ trade agreement – Reuters (Sept 11) – Link

Four Ways to Rebuild Consensus on Agricultural Trade – Bloomberg View – By Max Baucus and Richard Lugar (Sept 11)

“The U.S. is losing ground fast to global rivals in Asia.” – Link

 

 

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

How biotech is helping Asia tackle hunger and meet its development goals – South China Morning Post – By Kundhavi Kadiresan (Sept 8)

“… scientists can help boost food production in Asia – home of most of the world’s poor – and have already had their share of successes in India and Thailand” – Link

Integrated approach required to tackle climate change: Expert – Financial Express (India) / PTI (Sept 9)

“Continuous efforts such as genetic improvements, integrated farming approach and use of balanced natural resources were required to tackle the effects of climate change on crop, animal and fish productivity…” – Link

The Future of GMO Food – Scientific American – By Rebecca Nesbit (Sept 5)

“Herbicide and insect resistance are the most commonly engineered traits, but nitrogen fixing for cereals that don’t already do so could be a game changer for farmers in developing nations” – Link

Africa’s most notorious insects – the bugs that hit agriculture the hardest – The Conversation – By Esther Ndumi Ngumbi (Sept 3)

“Crop losses in African countries due to insect pests are estimated at 49% of the expected total crop yield each year”Link

Tanzania Goes for Climate Smart Agriculture – allAfrica / The Citizen (Sept 6)

“…initiative that will improve land and water management, with experts urging its speeding up to enable farmers shift from traditional to improved mode of farming.” – Link

WHY JOHN DEERE JUST SPENT $305 MILLION ON A LETTUCE-FARMING ROBOT – WIRED – By Tom Simonite (Sept 6)

“Pesticides and other chemicals are traditionally applied blindly across a whole field or crop. Blue River’s systems are agricultural sharp shooters that direct chemicals only where they are needed.” – Link

The future of farming is here and it is happening in Lakewood – Denver Post – By Joseph Rios (Sept 5)

“Infinite Harvest is growing crops in an efficient, environmental friendly way.” – Link

This Tiny Country Feeds the World – National Geographic (Sept edition)

“The Netherlands has become and ag giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.” – Link

Want to save the bees? Here’s what you should know. – Popular Science – By Sara Chodosh (Sept 5)

You don’t have to be a pollinator expert to think that it’s important to save bees. But…Let’s get a few facts straight…” – Link

Robotic Farmers Can Literally Reap What They Sow – Technology Review, The Download (Sept 12) – Link

Malawi’s Parliamentary Women’s Caucus and NCST take biotechnolgy to rural farmers – The Maravi Post (Sept 11)

“Farmers told the committee and commission that they were ready and willing to embrace bio-technology to increase their agricultural production.” – Link

Breeding On the Fast Track – Farm Journal AgTech – By Chris Bennett & Sonja Begemann (Sept 12)

“Medium and small players in the seed production industry are gaining direct access to the most advanced genomics tools. Some say this could help accelerate their research and development programs and result in more choices, lower costs and greater yields for producers. Furthermore, lowering accessibility barriers could open the possibility of more secondary crops for growers.” – Link

NEW OAT VARIETY DEVELOPED TO HELP REDUCE CHOLESTEROL – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (Sept 13) – Link

GLYPHOSATE HAS NO ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING PROPERTIES, EFSA PEER REVIEW CONCLUDES – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (Sept 13) – Link

 

POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

Coffee could soon carry cancer warnings on packaging – New York Post – By Lisa Fickenscher (Sept 6)

“[California’s] Prop 65 has resulted in warning labels in a host of unlikely places, including parking garages.” – Link

Impossible Environmentalism: Green groups promote utopian fantasies – USA Today – By Ted Nordhaus (Sept 7)

“Green groups need to make peace with modernity and technology and abandon pastoral nostalgias and utopian fantasies.” – Link

Glyphosate ban will kill ‘conservation agriculture’, French farmers warn – EurActiv – By Sarantis Michalopoulos (Sept 1) – Link

Closer look at popular organic fungicide copper sulfate–how does it compare to glyphosate? – Genetic Literacy Project – By Andrew Porterfield (Sept 8)

“In organic applications, it’s used a lot…Copper sulfate is one of many pesticides approved under the USDA National Organic Program and a number of studies show that it has a great deal of toxicity to both humans and the environment. For example it is toxic to honeybees…” – Link

SOUTH AMERICAN AGRICULTURE MINISTERS URGE EU & CHINA TO STOP DELAYING GMO IMPORT AUTHORIZATIONS – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (Sept 6) – Link

Europe’s Anti-GMO Stance Is Killing Africans – Reason.com – By Marian Tupy (Sept 5)

“The cost of Africa’s refusal to grow GMO crops are incredible in human health and economic terms.” – Link

Amsterdam wants to revive talks on new plant breeding techniques – EurActiv – By Sarantis Michalopoulos (Sept 11)

“The Netherlands believes the new plant breeding techniques should not come under the GMO legislation as they are as safe as traditional breeding. It also insists that a discussion on the issue should be launched soon, even before the EU Court rules on the issue.” – Link

The great GMO freak-out exposé – The Villager (New York City) – By Lenore Skenazy (Sept 7)

“We’ve been screening our film, and we ask before and after, ‘Who has concern about the safety of GMOs?’ And we see time and again, the film is changing minds…” – Link

Hidden hunger: How anti-GMO activists are blocking humanitarian biofortification in Africa and Asia – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

EU rules Italian ban on GMO crop unlawful – Reuters (Sept 13) – Link