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.

___

This week’s title came from a few different places…  Anyone involved in production agriculture is aware of automation and technology – it’s been around, evolving, changing and progressing the way things are done on the farm.   But, recently a “farm in the United Kingdom is the first in the world to successfully plant, tend and harvest a crop without a single person ever setting foot in the field” and that’s an interesting milestone.  That story and another recent piece by the GFNs own Bill Horan in USA Today are below.

Also, Dr. Kevin Folta takes a look back after a few years of the infamous, and discredited, Seralini study that used the now so oft used pictures of rats with tumors.  It just proves propaganda is powerful, even if it is false.

And then, thanks to the Genetic Literacy Project, this piece in its e-update on 9 Oct was eye-catching, Has the Non-GMO label fever peaked? Major vegetable packing firm removes ‘fear perpetuating’ label.   The link to the original piece from PR Week is below as well, and frankly is a bit refreshing to see after it seems every single food company out there, big and small, has been utilizing fear-based marketing on food labels, in the stores, and all forms of advertising.

 


TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

U.S. to present dairy demands at next round of NAFTA talks – CBC News (Canada) – By Kate Simpson (Oct 5)

“Liberal government under pressure to protect supply management system” – Link

Pacific Trade Advances Without the US – Wall Street Journal – Editorial (Oct 6)

“TPP is moving ahead in ways that will cost American exporters.” – Link

 


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

Field of machines: Researchers grow crop using only automation – CNN – By Spencer Feingold (Sept 7)

“A farm in the United Kingdom is the first in the world to successfully plant, tend and harvest a crop without a single person ever setting foot in the field…” – Link

Your new self-driving car will be pioneered by a farmer – USA Today – By Bill Horan, Global Farmer Network (Oct 4)

“Auto-steering tractors have been allowing us to grow more food on less land with fewer resources for years.” – Link (Note: upcoming GFN column appearing first at USA Today)

Potatoes, allies on Earth and on Mars – SciDevNet – By Zoraida Portillo (Oct 6)

“Project may trigger further study of crops to anticipate future scenarios” – Link

Seed Giants See Fresh Start in Gene Editing – Wall Street Journal – By Jacob Bunge (Oct 10)

“Executives strategizing on how to introduce it to consumers and potentially reset debate over genetically engineered seeds” – Link

First transgenic cattle pharm breaks ground in South Dakota – AG Daily (Oct 9)

“At full capacity, just 20 percent of production at the new facility could potentially supply the entire seasonal influenza market” – Link

New report reveals how much Irma cost Florida agriculture – Southeast Farm Press (Oct 10)

“Hurricane Irma cost Florida agriculture $2.5 billion in damages, according to a recently released report.” – Link

POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

Why Mann Packing is removing non-GMO labels as major brands add them – PR Week – By Diana Bradley (Oct 3)

“Gina Nucci, Mann’s director of corporate marketing, explained that the produce company doesn’t want to perpetuate a fear that something is wrong with GMOs.” – Link

The Rats that Kill – By Kevin Folta (Oct 5)

“A Retrospective Look at One Figure in a Scientific Paper with a Body Count” – Link

Uganda Parliament adopts GMO law in a monumental victory for science allies – Cornell Alliance for Science – By Isaac Ongu (Oct 4)

“…finally, banana farmers will be able to access varieties of banana resistant to bacterial wilt, and the people, especially children, can finally eat bananas and other foods rich in Vitamin A.” – Link

Uganda removes key hurdle to GM crops – Science – By Christopher Bendana (Oct 6) – Link

EU set to delay vote on weed-killer glyphosate – Reuters (Oct 5) – Link

Congress Should Investigate the Organic Scam – National Review – By Julie Kelly (Oct 10)

“Imagine for a moment this was any other industry. Suppose the pharmaceutical industry had been caught using shady ingredients from dubious exporters, mislabeling their drugs, and selling them to consumers at a premium. Capitol Hill and the media would be in full pitchfork mode.” – Link

Food fundamentalism: is food the new religion? – The Western Producer (Canada) – By Robert Arnason (Oct 5)

“Put another way, people who eat organic or avoid genetically modified food are part of a group with common ethics. And the members of that group likely believe that their values are superior to people not in the group.” – Link