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.


Editor’s Note – while catching up on news, perused Congressional staff gets ground-level look at ag (AgriNews, Sept 12 by Karen Binder) and thought this was a good quote to share:

“I just had no idea — no idea — that farming is this complicated. This is not an easy business,” said Dave Chun of Hawaii and senior analyst for U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, also of Hawaii.

Take a minute to read the brief piece, and then let it, the quote above and the photos sink in for a moment.  You may roll your eyes just a bit (admittingly I did).  But it highlights the ongoing need for everyone involved with agriculture to remember that the bulk of the public hasn’t been exposed to the rural world, doesn’t understand what goes on in the business – doesn’t necessarily understand that, yes, it is a business – and educational efforts like what’s portrayed in the article are an ongoing effort.  Stories need to be told, people need to be transparent and trustworthy.  A little reminder once in awhile is a good thing.

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TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

U.S. Support for Free Trade Endures in Trump Era, Poll Shows – Morning Consult – By David Mark (Sept 14)

“There are always winners and losers, of course. But I think the majority of people have seen the benefits of free trade over recent years and decades.” – Link

Trump Trade Official Proposes Nafta ‘Sunset Clause’ – Fox Business / Dow Jones Newswires – By William Mauldin (Sept 14) – Link

Canada and Mexico Disparage Nafta ‘Sunset Provision’ (Audio) – Bloomberg (Sept 18) – Link

After Irma, America Should Scrap the Jones Act – Bloomberg View, Editorial (Sept 13)

“The century-old law restricting trade between U.S. ports is a costly failure.” – Link

China to start importing meat from Russia – GlobalMeatNews.com – By Vladislav Vorotnikov (Sept 18)

“China has cancelled a ban on imports of ‘ruminant meats’ (beef and lamb), from 49 regions of the Russian Federation, according to a recent release from Russia’s veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.” – Link

Mexico-US trade would survive any NAFTA rupture, Mexico foreign minister says – Arab News / Reuters (Sept 16) – Link

Trump planning China trip to discuss trade: report – New York Post – By Yaron Steinbuch (Sept 12) – Link

 

Why China-US trade conflicts won’t end in war – no matter how loud the threats – South China Morning Post (Sept 15)

“Patrick Mendis and Sheng Cui say with China-US economic and investment relations strengthening by the day, points of disagreement could well be resolved by finding more ways to cooperate for mutual benefit, notwithstanding the warnings of tariffs and other punitive measures” – Link

Beijing shrugs off tough talk from Trump’s top trade negotiator – South China Morning Post (Sept 19)

“Foreign ministry suggests WTO can handle disputes after Robert Lighthizer criticises China’s economic model and trade practices” – Link

Trump’s China visit could result in new trade deal – China Daily – By Li Xiang (Sept 20) – Link

New Zealand election could put an obstacle in path to nailing TPP deal – Reuters – Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Charlotte Greenfield (Sept 19)

“Some analysts say that the plan by Labour, if it wins, might prompt other TPP members to make fresh demands, stalling the agreement or even leaving New Zealand out.” – Link

WTO upgrades forecast for 2017 as trade rebounds strongly – World Trade Organization, Press Release (Sept 21)

“WTO economists have issued a strong upward revision to their forecast for 2017 trade expansion following a sharp acceleration in global trade growth in the first half of the year.” – Link


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

Growers Inspect Irma Damage, Look for Federal Aid – AgWeb / The Packer – By Tom Karst (Sept 15)

“The Florida Farm Bureau predicted damage from the storm will run in the billions of dollars.” – Link

Irma: Ag assesses damage and gets back to work – Southeast Farm Press – By Brad Haire (Sept 13)

“Hurricane Irma brought terrific damage to the Southeast, including to agriculture. Preliminary observations point to considerable losses.” – Link

Africa’s Agric Take-Off to Make Billionaires, From ‘Poor Men’s Fields’ – allAfrica / The Herald (Zimbabwe) – By Boaz Blackie Keizire (Sept 15)

“Asked where the next crop of African billionaires will come from, president of the African Development Bank, Nigerian Dr Akinwumi Adesina, without batting an eyelid, declared that they will be farmers. And he is not the only person in his class endorsing agriculture as the next frontier.” – Link

Bayer, Halvorsen’s Viking Make Record Wager on Farming Tech – Bloomberg – By Mario Parker (Sept 14)

“…the latest bet that farmers are going to need new tools to feed a growing population… will focus on finding ways to reduce nitrogen fertilizer waste…” – Link

Agricultural biotechnologies to fight poverty and improve food security in Asia-Pacific: FAO – Far Eastern Agriculture (Sept 12) – Link

Consumers underestimate risk of ‘natural’ contaminants – Food Navigator – By Katy Askew, 19-Sep-2017

“German consumers are more concerned about the risk presented by ‘synthetic’ contaminants than those that naturally occur in foods, a new study by the German safety authority finds.” – Link

“Are packaging claims such as “free from,” “clean,” “natural,” and “organic” deterrents to healthful eating?” – Link

 


POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

How much longer can California farmers adapt to regulatory change? – Western Farm Press – By Todd Fitchette (Sept 13) – Link

Spain to introduce origin labelling for milk products – Dairy Reporter – By Niamh Michail (Sept 14)

“As Spain becomes the latest country to bring in mandatory country of origin labelling for milk and milk-based products, the European Dairy Association (EDA) has blasted the European Commission’s “laissez-faire” approach.” – Link

Solving the drug problem: Give ‘em Oreos instead… – Farm Press – By Hembree Brandon (Sept 18)

“Fearmongers have convinced a goodly portion of the consuming public that GMO crops are an evil plot by giant agribusiness corporations and biotech-addicted farmers who only want to profit at the expense of consumers’ health.” – Link

Bayer Delays Monsanto Acquisition – AgWeb.com – By Sonja Begemann (Sept 19) – Link

Ugandan journalist: How do you report on crop biotechnology when critics spread misinformation? – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

‘Biotechnology does not mean only GM crops’ – Down to Earth (India) – By Deepanwita Gita Niyogi (Sept 18)

“The media and policy makers need to be sensitised more about the concept and advantages of biotechnologies in crop improvement for developing better varieties, which can lead to food and nutrition security” – Link

EU and GMOs: The case for a knowledge-based society – EurActiv – By Dennis Eriksson and Roberto Defez (Sept 20)

“Albert Einstein said, “It is harder to crack prejudice than an atom.” A persistent prejudice in the EU is that against GMOs. An EU court judgment has restated that fears are unfounded, but will Europe take the opportunity to become a science-based society” – Link