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.


TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

Puerto Rico: Trump lifts shipping ban for storm-hit island – BBC (Sept 28)

“Puerto Rico had pressed the US to lift the act, which limits shipping between coasts to US-flagged vessels.” – Link

NAFTA: Some progress reported after third round of talks end – Southwest Farm Press – By Eric Martin, Andrew Mayeda and Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg (Sept 28)

“U.S. decision to impose duties on Bombardier jetliner hung over final day of negotiations.” – Link

EU chocolate exports to Canada set to rise as tariffs lifted – Food Navigator – By Oliver Nieburg (Sept 28)

“Canada no longer taxes chocolate confectionery imported from the EU after free trade agreement CETA took effect last week.” – Link

East Africa: Fate of Trade Deal Expected in Nov – allAfrica / The East African – By Christabel Ligami (Oct 1)

“A decision on whether all the East African Community partner states will sign the European Union-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be known in November during the Heads of State Summit.” – Link

In Trade Actions, Trump Embraces Unpredictability – New York Times – By Peter S. Goodman (Sept 28) – Link

Exporters cheer as China puts two-year hold on new import regulations – Food Navigator Asia – By Richard Whitehead (Oct 2)

“China will not implement new food import rules until October 2019, in what will be seen as a victory for European and American exporters concerned over disruption to trade.” – Link

EU and Canada settle cattle battle at the WTO – Reuters – By Tom Miles (Oct 3)

“The European Commission has said that “CETA will not change the way the EU regulates food safety, including genetically modified products or the ban on hormone-treated beef.” – Link

U.S., Korean Officials Agree to Amend Trade Deal Trump Disparaged – Wall Street Journal – By William Mauldin and Kwanwoo Jun (Oct 4)

“Administration had considered exiting from the agreement; neither side specified what changes would be sought” – Link


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

Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice? – Tampa Bay Times – By Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post (Sept 21)

“It’s somewhere between significant and catastrophic. And that’s a big word — I don’t use it lightly.” – Link

Why Your Orange Juice Might Be From Brazil: Florida’s Trees Are Dying – Wall Street Journal – By Julie Wernau (Sept 26) 

“The state’s citrus industry, beset by a disease killing off groves plus hurricanes and international competition, is banking on producing a genetically engineered orange years away from potential sale” – Link

A Battle to Save the World’s Favorite Treat: Chocolate – New York Times – By Myles Karp (Sept 25)

“…cacao is under constant threat from diseases and environmental challenges… A chocolate shortage may be on the horizon.” – Link

Coffee farms earn so little that supply may soon drop: ICO chief – Reuters – By Aaron Ross, Ange Aboa (Sept 25)

“Oftentimes, especially in the consuming countries, there’s a great deal of emphasis on … environmental sustainability … but there is no corresponding emphasis on economic sustainability” – Link.

Ivory Coast Cuts Cocoa Farmers Pay by Third for Main Harvest – Bloomberg – By Olivier Monnier (Oct 2)

“Producer price remains the same as for the past smaller crop… Pay gap between Ivory Coast, Ghana seen to encourage smuggling” – Link

See also:  Cocoa Prices Have Crashed but Smugglers Are Still Making Money (Bloomberg, Sept 19)

OK, Phone: How Are My Crops Looking? – Technology Review, The Download (Oct 2)

“Some cassava farmers may not be able to tell one plant’s debilitating brown streak from another’s troubling brown leaf spot—but a smartphone-friendly AI can. ” – Link

Scientists are close to creating a strain of GMO wheat without gluten – Quartz – By Chase Purdy (Sept 28)

“Researchers in Europe are closing in on every gluten-free eater’s dream: wheat-based, gluten-free bread.” – Link

Karnataka govt looking at biotech to resolve farming woes – The Times of India – By Sandeep Moudgall (Oct 2)

“After back-to-back droughts in the past three years, the focus has shifted on drought-resistant crops and cropping pattern using biotechnology” – Link

Africa’s agriculture needs technological transformation – Scientists – MyJoyOnline (Ghana)  – By Joseph Opoku Gakpo (Sept 29)

“They warn failure to do this will further endanger the continent’s ability to feed itself and stall development.” – Link

Wrong, Politico: Today’s Farmers Are Obsessed With Healthy Soil – The Federalist – By Amanda Zaluckyj (Sept 29)

“In “Can American soil be brought back to life?” Politico reporter Jenny Hopkinson claims soil health has been completely neglected by the American farmer and that activities undertaken to promote it are seen as against farm culture.” – Link

DuPont: Knowing about food security challenges drives our innovation – Food Navigator – By Niamh Michail (Oct 5)

“For the first time in four years, global food security has fallen in both developing and developed countries, according to the DuPont-backed Global Food Security Index (GFSI).” – Link


POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

India’s science marching to nowhere – SciDev.Net – By Ranjit Devraj (Oct 2)

“India’s scientific labs are now required to raise money for their projects” – Link

Viewpoint: No, Big Ag doesn’t ‘control’ the world’s food supply – Genetic Literacy Project – By  

“Ironically, the opponents of plant biotechnology have exercised a far more significant degree of “control”…anti-GMO activists have successfully employed three, potent control strategies: political over-ride of the regulatory system, manipulation through brand protectionism, and pressure exerted via importers.” – Link

Imported Organic Food May Be Falling Short of U.S. Certification – Bloomberg – By Megan Durisin (Sept 18)

“Report: Lack of port controls could create unfair economic environment for U.S. producers.” – Link

Uganda likely to pass its Biotech Bill next week – Cornell Alliance for Science – By Isaac Ongu (Sept 28)

“Uganda’s long-awaited national Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill was delayed again yesterday, but is likely to be passed next Tuesday, according to the nation’s Minister of Science Technology and Innovation.” – Link

‘People are being duped’: CBC exposes homegrown lies at farmers markets – CBC (Canada) – By Luke Denne, Tiffany Foxcroft (Sept 29)

“Some farmers market vendors push bogus homegrown stories to consumers looking for fresh local fruits and veggies… consumers could be paying premium prices for produce with fake backstories…” – Link

Glyphosate, breast milk, science and conflict – Biology Fortified – By Karl Haro von Mogel (Sept 27)

“Scientist who found no glyphosate in breast milk faced anti-pesticide activist attacks” – Link

The Plan to Feed All Russians Hinges On Homemade Seeds – Bloomberg – By Anatoly Medetsky (Sept 29)

“…Russia bans GMOs over perceived risks to health, the environment and biodiversity. Instead, Russia is working on seed hybrids that can mimic the yield-boosting traits of GMO products but can take as long as a decade to develop.” – Link

*Editor’s Note: anti-GMO efforts pushed by Russia and entities there that would benefit from this. Coincidence?

Grey Market: When nearly a million Indian farmers plant ‘unapproved’ GM cotton – The Indian Express – By Harish Damodaran (Sept 28)

“But regulatory failure in preventing the rampant illegal sale and planting of seeds based on an unapproved GM crop event is only one part. More significant, perhaps, is its highlighting an aspect that neither the government nor the NGOs seem to appreciate: The Indian farmer’s hunger for technology.” – Link