News items related to ag 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 newly added items will be in green at bottom of sections).  Be sure to check in regularly!

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The June 2 Global Farmer Network (GFN) column by Dr. Gilbert arap Bor (Open Letter to the EU Parliament from a Kenyan Farmer: Leave Africa Alone) appeared in the June 7 opinion section of the Daily Nation newspaper from Nairobi, Kenya – one of East Africa’s most prominent publications.

If you haven’t read Bor’s column yet, do so.  It may surprise you that the archaic colonial mindset appears to alive and well with some in the European Union attempting to influence or tell African farmers what they can or cannot do.  Instead of being a notion just read about in dusty history books,  it’s being currently discussed in the EU Parliament…

Africa needs biotechnology to fight hunger – Daily Nation (Kenya) – Commentary by Gilbert arap Bor (June 7)

“The hostility to GMOs has set us back a generation.”

Link: http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/Africa-needs-biotechnology-to-fight-hunger/-/440808/3235314/-/aedoju/-/index.html

See also How to Starve Africa: Ask the European Green Party (The Risk-Monger, June 8) that refers to Bor’s column: https://risk-monger.com/2016/06/08/how-to-starve-africa-ask-the-european-green-party/

Open Letter to the EU Parliament from a Group of Nigerian Farmers: Let Us Make This Choice for Ourselves (June 3)

Link: http://www.ofabnigeria.com/resource/news/open-letter-to-the-eu-parliament-from-a-group-of-nigerian-farmers-let-us-make-this-choice-for-ourselves.html

Also, another GFN member, V. Ravichandran from India appeared in a prominent publication from his country, The Hindu BusinessLine:

Smart crops getting more from less – The Hindu BusinessLine – By Chitra Narayanan and KV Kurmanath (June 6)

Link: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/specials/india-file/smart-crops-getting-more-from-less/article8697271.ece

Gilbert arap Bor is the 2011 Kleckner Trade and Technology Advancement Award recipient, and V. Ravichandran received the award in 2013.

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What will Brexit do to UK trade? – Independent (UK) – By Ben Chu (June 2)

Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/will-brexit-damage-trade-eu-referendum-vote-leave-a7062201.html

U.K.’s Cameron: Brexit would ‘put a bomb under our economy’ – USA Today – By Kim Hjelmgaard (June 6)

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/06/brexit-european-union-david-cameron/85475976/

World trade chief says post-Brexit ‘WTO option’ may be unfeasible for UK – Reuters – By Tom Miles (June 6)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-wto-idUSKCN0YS1LA

EU member states stalemate on glyphosate – Deutsche Welle (June 6)

“A panel of experts from EU member states failed to agree on whether to extend approval for the use of controversial weedkiller glyphosate…”

Link: http://www.dw.com/en/eu-member-states-stalemate-on-glyphosate/a-19310131

Renewal of glyphosate in EU still in limbo – Feed Navigator – By Jane Byrne (June 6)

“The reauthorization of controversial herbicide, glyphosate, has again failed to get the backing of an EU committee.”

Economic report signals end for GM barriers – The Land (Australia) – By Colin Bettles (June 6)

“Results of a new economic report, showing Genetically Modified crops have increased farmer incomes by $1.37 billion in Australia since 1996 while drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reinforces why unnecessary State-based moratoria should end, supporters say.”

Link: http://www.theland.com.au/story/3949686/economic-report-signals-end-for-gm-barriers/

Argentina and Monsanto reach preliminary agreement on seeds and soy controls – MercoPress – (June 4)

“Under the accord the Argentine government will be the one to carry out the inspections, as part of a proper framework for agriculture firms to be paid for royalties.”

Link: http://en.mercopress.com/2016/06/04/argentina-and-monsanto-reach-preliminary-agreement-on-seeds-and-soy-controls

The Panama Canal Expansion: Changes Beyond the Waterway – Knowledge@Wharton – (June 3)

“The expansion of the Canal will enable longer, wider and heavier ships to transit; it is expected to open for commercial traffic on June 26.”

Link: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/panama-canal-expansion-changes-beyond-waterway/

Why is Obama strangely silent on the Pacific trade deal? – Newsweek – Opinion by Daniel Ikenson (June 3)

Link: http://www.newsweek.com/why-obama-strangely-silent-pacific-trade-deal-465787

Organic food is no healthier than normal produce, professor says – The Telegraph (UK) – By Sarah Knapton (June 2)

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/01/organic-food-is-no-healthier-than-normal-produce-professor-says/

Anti-GMO groups hurting farmers – St. Cloud Times – By Joni Kamiya (June 1)

Link: http://www.sctimes.com/story/opinion/2016/06/01/anti-gmo-groups-hurting-farmers/85189128/

YouTube – #Farmers4Glyphosate – Guy Smith, British farmer – NFU

Use biotech to beef up climate fight – SciDevNet – By Jayson Merkley (May 31)

“Poor nations shouldn’t miss out on advances such as lab-cultured meat and low-methane GM rice, says Jayson Merkley.”

Link: http://www.scidev.net/global/biotechnology/opinion/biotech-climate-fight.html

CSOs stance and scientist support for the adoption of GMOs – News Ghana (June 4)

“Ghana has the potential to improve its food and nutrition security if government and other relevant stakeholders invest massively in biotechnology, some scientists in the country have stated.”

Link: https://www.newsghana.com.gh/csos-stance-and-scientist-support-for-the-adoption-of-gmos/

EPA draft triazine assessment stirs up criticism from agriculture – Delta Farm Press – By Forrest Laws (June 3)

“EPA’s flawed atrazine report is stomping science into the dirt and setting farmers up for significant economic hardship…”

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/corn/epa-draft-triazine-assessment-stirs-criticism-agriculture

“The world’s most vilified company—now a takeover target—has a plan to feed us all. Will it work?”

Link: http://fortune.com/monsanto-fortune-500-gmo-foods/

Commentary: Not granting China market status could jeopardize trade – Xinhua (China) – by Xinhua writers Zhang Zhengfu, Liu Fei (June 6)

“While granting China market economy status (MES) will mean win-win results for China and the European Union, refusal to do so could put one of the world’s most important trade relationships at risk.”

Link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-06/07/c_135417358.htm

Fun of the pear: Aussie invention will ‘transform avocado industry’ – Food Navigator Asia – By RJ Whitehead (June 7)

“An Australian company claims to have developed technology that will “revolutionise” the global avocado market by preventing the pears from browning.”

U.S. lawmakers probe EPA staff over possible bias in herbicide review – Reuters – By PJ Huffstutter (June 7)

“One question that lawmakers are trying to answer, according to legislative sources, is whether EPA staff allowed personal bias to color the agency’s scientific review of glyphosate…”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-glyphosate-epa-idUSKCN0YT2FP

Interconnected diets: Two thirds of crops we consume are result of ‘food globalisation’ – Food Navigator – By Nathan Gray (June 8)

‘Foreign’ crops dominate national food consumption patterns and farming practices, according to new research that finds nearly 70% of fruit, vegetables, legumes and grains in an average country’s diet originate somewhere else.

Scientist takes issue with no-pesticide-organic claim – in nice way – Delta Farm Press – By Forrest Laws (June 6)

““In my experience, most people are shocked to discover organic growers do use pest control chemicals – just not chemicals that were developed by people and don’t occur in nature,” writes Dr. Adrianne Massey.”

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/blog/scientist-takes-issue-no-pesticide-organic-claim-nice-way

Germany’s Strange Turn Against Trade – Project Syndicate – By Marcel Fratzscher (June 6)

“A trade-dependent economy has much to gain from freer trade, especially with a market as large as the US. Germany should be using its political clout to push its European counterparts to seal the deal.”

Link: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/germany-opposition-transatlantic-trade-partnership-by-marcel-fratzscher-2016-06

Too close to call: How do consumers really feel about GMOs? – Food Navigator USA – By Elizabeth Crawford (June 8)

“The controversy surrounding genetic engineering may feel deafening at times with each said prolifically and loudly debating its pros and cons, but the vast majority of consumers remain unfamiliar GMOs and unclear if they pose a risk, according to a recent survey.”

Merkel tries to lower expectations for swift EU trade deal with U.S – Euronews / Reuters (June 8)

Link:  http://www.euronews.com/business-newswires/3204597-merkel-tries-to-lower-expectations-for-swift-eu-trade-deal-with-us/

Britain’s Trade Future in Question if Brexit Happens – VOA, Voice of America – By Luis Ramirez (June 7)

Link: http://www.voanews.com/content/britain-trade-future-quetion-brexit-happens/3366804.html

Obama, Modi vow to strengthen economic and trade ties – The Hill – By Vicki Needham (June 7)

Link: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/trade/282602-obama-modi-vow-to-strengthen-economic-and-trade-ties

Maha should allow GM trials of all crops – The Times of India (June 8)

Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Maha-should-allow-GM-trials-of-all-crops/articleshow/52645085.cms?from=mdr

California citrus funds $8M HLB cure research facility – Western Farm Press – By Todd Fitchette (June 7)

Link: http://westernfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/california-citrus-funds-8m-hlb-cure-research-facility

Putin Is Growing Organic Power One T-34 Tank-Tomato at a Time – Bloomberg – By Anatoly Medetsky, Matthew Campbell, Yuliya Fedorinova (June 7)

“Russia last year joined dozens of nations in banning the commercial planting of genetically modified organisms and has since barred GMO imports — putting Putin at the vanguard of an increasingly vocal global movement.”

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-06-07/putin-is-growing-organic-power-one-t-34-tank-tomato-at-a-time

Scientists lobby for partial lifting of GMO production ban in Russia – paper – RT, Russia Today (June 9)

Link: https://www.rt.com/politics/345955-scientists-lobby-partial-lifting-of/

Taxing red meat, the danger of over-reacting to an environmental issue – Southwest Farm Press – By Logan Hawkes (June 9)

Link: http://southwestfarmpress.com/livestock/taxing-red-meat-danger-over-reacting-environmental-issue

Monsanto develops plan for GMO U.S. soy lacking EU import approval – Reuters (June 7)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-gmo-soybeans-idUSKCN0YT2SV

Agriculture Groups Ratchet Up Pressure on EU Over Approval of GMO Seeds – Wall Street Journal (June 9)

“European and U.S. traders and farmers cite longer-than-usual delays”

Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/agriculture-groups-ratchet-up-pressure-on-eu-over-approval-of-gmo-seeds-1465499827