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 last several days have delivered major news on different fronts: the Brexit vote setting the stage for the UK to leave the EU; the US Senate Ag Committee striking a deal that would help create a national standard, as opposed to a patchwork of separate state laws (starting with Vermont on July 1) on foods containing GM ingredients; and the expansion of the Panama Canal opened.

Clearly the summer is off to a hot start as opposed to a leisurely vacation mode, and these issues play into other major pending events such as the US elections, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, etc. ?The point is, it’s going to be an interesting summer trying to keep abreast of important news!

2016 World Food Prize Laureate Announcement:

Biofortification Pioneers Win 2016 World Food Prize For Fight Against Malnutrition – The World Food Prize, Press Release (June 28)

“Four scientists responsible for improving the health of 10 million rural poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to receive $250,000 award

Drs. Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga, Jan Low and Howarth Bouis were announced today as the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates during a ceremony at the U.S. State Department…”

Link: http://www.worldfoodprize.org/index.cfm/24667/39415/biofortification_pioneers_win_2016_world_food_prize_for_fight_against_malnutrition

Here’s some more coverage:

Sweet potato experts win World Food Prize?(Reuters)

Developers of fortified food staple awarded World Food Prize?(Washington Post)

How the humble sweet potato won researchers the World Food Prize?(NPR, The Salt blog)

Researchers win World Food Prize for Combating Malnutrition?(VOA, Voice of America)

World Food Prize winners ? why sweet potato colour matters?(National Geographic)

 

BREXIT:

European Farmers Brace for Trade Fallout in Wake of Brexit – AgWeb / Bloomberg (June 24)

Link:?http://www.agweb.com/article/european-farmers-brace-for-trade-fallout-in-wake-of-brexit-blmg/

African exporters face choppy waters in the wake of?Brexit?– The Conversation – By Fatima Bhoola and Nimisha Naik (June 26)

Link:?https://theconversation.com/african-exporters-face-choppy-waters-in-the-wake-of-brexit-61637

British food firms set to increase trade with US following Brexit vote?– Food Navigator?By Douglas Yu?(June 27)

“UK confectionery and snack businesses may look to ramp up their trade with the US in light of last week?s vote to leave the European Union.”

Germany, USA and Canada ALL say they want special trade deals with post-Brexit Britain – Sunday Express (UK) – By Lana Clements (June 25)

Link:?http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/683117/US-and-Canada-lead-promises-to-maintain-trade-relations-with-Britain-outside-the-EU

UK vote triggers talks with US – The Hill – By Jordan Fabian and Vicki Needham (June 24)

Link:?http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/284857-uk-vote-triggers-talks-with-us

Brexit prompts new agenda for North American Leaders? Summit – The Globe and Mail (Canada) – By Robert Fife (June 27)

Link:?http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/brexit-prompts-new-north-american-leaders-summit-agenda/article30621999/

State Dept.: No need to rush trade deal with Britain – Washington Examiner – By Pete Kasperowicz (June 28)

Link:?http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state-dept.-no-need-to-rush-trade-deal-with-britain/article/2595124?

U.S. mixes signals on possible separate EU, UK trade talks – Reuters (June 28)

Link:?http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-usa-trade-idUSKCN0ZE2W4

TTIP will survive Brexit, EU commissioner says – MarketWatch – By Harvard Zhang (June 29)

Link:?http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ttip-will-survive-brexit-eu-commissioner-says-2016-06-29

LABELING, REGULATORY, POLICY, OTHER:

Senate GMO labeling deal would ban state requirements – Boston Globe – By Erik Wasson, Bloomberg News (June 25)

“Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Agriculture Committee have struck a deal that would create the first nationwide standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms.”

Link:?https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/06/24/senate-gmo-labeling-deal-would-ban-state-requirements/4XwcVSUMK8uMK98oQENGXI/story.html

Australia and Europe GM policies stymieing the release of new crops and food: US science writer – ABC Rural (Australia) – By Sarina Locke (June 27)

Link:?http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-27/gm-foods-safe-say-majority-scientists/7546000

Federal GMO labeling bill hailed as ‘true compromise,’ but critics say it’s woefully inadequate?- Food Navigator USA -?By Elaine Watson?(June 23)

“Attempts to reach a federal GMO labeling solution have failed miserably to date. However, a bipartisan deal requiring mandatory GMO labeling (via smartlabels, symbols or as yet undetermined wording) thrashed out in the Senate on Thursday looks like it could prove the exception to the rule.”

Documents uncover secret coordination among ?independent? anti-biotech scientists, activists – Genetic Literacy Project – By?Stephan Neidenbach?(June 27)

“GMWatch, run by Jonathan Matthews and Claire Robinson, was quick to applaud the requests submitted by US Right To Know. When the tables were turned they lashed out like a rabid dog backed into a corner.”

Link:?https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/06/27/documents-uncover-secret-coordination-among-independent-anti-biotechnology-scientists-activists/

GMO: African voices must be heard – Daily Nation (Kenya) – By Mark Lynas (June 28)

“European environmentalists feel that African farmers should be prevented from adopting ?fancy? technological advancements.”

Link:?http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/GMO-African-voices-must-be-heard/-/440808/3270154/-/6g28hbz/-/index.html

The Push to Make Pears the New Apples – The Atlantic – By Taryn Phaneuf (June 27)

?Getting a nicely ripened pear is harder than winning the lottery,? Dhingra says. ?The true nature of the fruit hasn?t been explained.?

Link:?http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/battle-of-the-pomes/488687/

Japanese Scientists Develop Super Plants Thru Simple GM – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (June 29)

Link:?http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14519

Scientists Develop GM Bananas With Longer Shelf-Life -?Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (June 29)

Link:?http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14535

Compliance failures could kill California citrus industry -? Western Farm Press -?Commentary by?Joel Nelsen, President, California Citrus Mutual (June 27)

Link:?http://westernfarmpress.com/orchard-crops/compliance-failures-could-kill-california-citrus-industry

EC to extend glyphosate approval for 18 months – Agri-Pulse – By Stephen Davies (June 28)

Link:?http://www.agri-pulse.com/EC-to-extend-glyphosate-approval-for-18-months-06282016.asp

107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs – Washington Post -??(June 29)

?We?re scientists. We understand the logic of science. It’s easy to see what Greenpeace is doing is damaging and is anti-science,” Roberts told The Washington Post. ?Greenpeace initially, and then some of their allies, deliberately went out of their way to scare people. It was a way for them to raise money for their cause.”

Link:?https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/06/29/more-than-100-nobel-laureates-take-on-greenpeace-over-gmo-stance/

WA Labor reconsiders plan to transition state out of GM crops if it wins 2017 election – ABC Rural (Australia) – By Belinda Varischetti (June 29)

“In a major backflip, Labor’s Shadow Agriculture Minister Mick Murray said it was time for the party to be practical about the future of GM technology in WA, and look at ways for GM and non-GM crops to co-exist, rather than becoming GM-free.”

Link:?http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-29/wa-labor-mick-murray-reconsiders-future-gm-crops/7554968

EU position on GMOs a blow to SADC?s food security – The Southern Times (S. Africa) -?By?Sifelani Tsiko (June 29)

?Despite Europe having the luxury of enough money to import the food it needs, its rejection of GMOs has had an impact on the acceptance of these foods in the SADC region.”

Link:?http://southernafrican.news/2016/06/29/eu-position-on-gmos-a-blow-to-sadcs-food-security/

Vt. GMO labeling law causing confusion – WCAX.com (Vermont) – By Alex Apple (June 29)

“If products needing a tag are driven from the market, St. Michael’s College business professor Robert Letovsky says the most economically vulnerable Vermonters are most affected.”

Link:?http://www.wcax.com/story/32339159/vt-gmo-labeling-law-causing-confusion

More Than 100 Nobel Laureates Demand Greenpeace End Anti-GMO Crusade – Huffington Post – By Nick Visser (June 30)

?GMOs are extensively tested and subjected to a higher degree of regulatory review than any other crops.?

Link:?http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nobel-laureates-greenpeace-gmos_us_5774c1a5e4b042fba1cf2b81

The red hands of Greenpeace: Mastio and Mahmood – Opinion by Dave Mastio and Omar Mahmood (June 29)

41 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine say group’s anti-scientific activism kills children.

“…Both USA TODAY and The Washington Post have asked Greenpeace for its reply. As of Wednesday evening, all we had heard is silence. With millions of lives on the line, that’s not good enough.”

Link:?http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/06/29/greenpeace-gmo-science-nobel-laureates-medicine-science-health-column/86521020/

How Americans Feel About GMOs – US News & World Report – By Megan Meyer (June 28)

“A new survey provides insight.”

Link:?http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2016-06-28/how-americans-feel-about-gmos#

Stop worrying about GMOs; it’s that organic granola bar that could make you sick – Los Angeles Times – Op-ed by Henry I. Miller (June 30)

Link:?http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-miller-clifbar-recall-20160629-snap-story.html

Grain cropper Russian wheat aphid could force organic producers out of industry – ABC Rural (Australia) – By Emma Brown (June 30)

Link:?http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-30/russian-wheat-aphid-treatment-bother-for-organic-grain-croppers/7556966

Price Chopper loses 3,000 products over GMO law – WCAX.com (Vermont) – By Alex Apple (July 1)

Link:?http://www.wcax.com/story/32354485/price-chopper-loses-3000-products-over-gmo-law

TRADE:

A new era in global trade begins, as $5.4-billion Panama Canal expansion opens – Los Angeles Times – By Chris Kraul (June 26)

Link:?http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-panama-canal-expansion-20160626-snap-story.html

$5.4-billion expansion of Panama Canal could reshape world trade routes – Los Angels Times – By Patrick J. McDonnell and Natalie Kitroeff (June 24)

Link:?http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-panama-canal-20160624-snap-story.html

Democrats to endorse Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement – Deutsch Welle (Germany) – (June 25)

“The Democratic Party has voted against an amendment to its platform that would oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The discursive move is a nod toward one of President Obama’s projects.”

Link:?http://www.dw.com/en/democrats-to-endorse-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement/a-19356105

4 things to know about Panama Canal expansion opening?-?Southeast Farm Press – By?Brad Haire?(June 27)

Link:?http://southeastfarmpress.com/cotton/4-things-know-about-panama-canal-expansion-opening

Obama pushes back on Trump call to overhaul, scrap trade deals – FoxNews.com (June 29)

Link:?http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/06/29/obama-pushes-back-on-trump-call-to-overhaul-scrap-trade-deals.html

Three amigos further liberalize NAFTA rules of origin – iPolitics (Canada) – By BJ Siekierski (June 29)

“Agreement covers range of products, from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics”

Link:?http://ipolitics.ca/2016/06/29/three-amigos-further-liberalize-nafta-rules-of-origin/

Obama, Trudeau, Pena Nieto defend free trade, push back against isolationism – The Japan Times / AP (June 30)

Link:?http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/30/business/obama-trudeau-pena-nieto-defend-free-trade-push-back-isolationism/#.V3XMWGgrKhd

Trade War: Obama, Trump Battle Over Massive Deals – Roll Call – By John T. Bannett (June 30)

Link:?http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/trade-war-obama-trump-battle-massive-deals

Russian trade ban inflicts maximum damage?- GlobalMeatNews -?By Oscar Rousseau (July 1)

“Russia?s politically-motivated decision to slash meat imports continues to be a bloody thorn in the side of the meat industry, according to an exclusive?GlobalMeatNews?survey.”