Can facts change minds? – news for week of Sept 25


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.


The documentary Food Evolution has been making waves since it’s debut over the summer, including Australia:

When was the last time you changed your mind on GMs? ?- FarmOnline (Australia) – By Colin Bettles (Sept 22)

Before and after the screening the audience was “asked to hold up a red, yellow or green card to signify if they supported GMs or not…?there were fewer red and yellow ones held aloft, after the film ended.” – Link

Also see last week’s GFN column from the perspective of New Zealand board member Craige Mackenzie:



Gains from free trade agreements have been undersold, not oversold – The Hill – By Neil Dierks (Sept 23)

“It also should be pointed out that FTAs have provided benefits beyond trade, including improved relations with our partner countries, better investment and supply chains, increased cooperation on important issues such as drug trafficking and terrorism and greater political stability.” – Link

WTO dispute panel established to rule on Chinese farm import quotas – World Trade Organization (Sept 22) – Link

Red tape delays EU-Canada free trade meat sales surge – -?By?Oscar Rousseau (Sept 25)

“Antibiotics and labelling have stalled the flow of meat from Canada to the European Union (EU) just days after a compressive free trade agreement came into force.” – Link

U.S. Could Export Rice to China for First Time, But Is It a Done Deal? – AgWeb – By Tyne Morgan (Sept 24) – Link


Beijing cuts red tape for foreign firms as it vies for investors – South China Morning Post – By Frank Tang (Sept 27)

“Regulation from 1995 requiring companies to set up representative offices in China scrapped, as vice-premier warns of new challenges ahead” – Link

US Commerce Secretary Ross highlights three main barriers to better trade links with China – South China Morning Post – By Kristin Huang (Sept 27)

“Trump aide calls for action on market access, protectionism and intellectual property protection before US President?s visit to Beijing” – Link

Mercosur Could Seek Trade Deals With Canada, Australia, New Zealand – VOA/Reuters (Sept 27) – Link



In some countries, people die when crops fail – Quad Cities Online – By Thea Gonzales (Sept 22)

“”You take food for granted here,” Kaleb Kamure Titia, a pig and banana farmer on Uganda’s border with Sudan, said while in the Quad-Cities this week to learn about better communication between farmers from around the world.” – Link

Found: Genetic markers against deadly cassava viruses – SciDev.Net – By Esther Nakkazi (Sept 18)?

“Two diseases that affect cassava could cause up to 70-100 per cent yield losses” – Link

Asking the farmers what they need – Cornell Alliance for Science – By Sarah Evanega (Sept 19)

?Everybody likes to talk about what farmers need.? But nobody asks the farmers.? – Link

‘If anybody thinks that agriculture is going to be the same in 20 or 30 years they?ve got their head in the sand’ – Feed Navigator -?By Aerin Einstein-Curtis (Sept 26)

“New technology, precision nutrition, big data and nutrigenomics may be among tools that feed manufactures and animal producers will need to consider as production evolves to meet increasing demands…” – Link

Water in the West and Our Future – Arizona Agriculture (AZ Farm Bureau) – By Julie Murphree (Sept 26)

“Ted Sheely is a lettuce, cotton, tomatoes, onions, wheat, wine grapes, garlic and pistachio farmer in California?s San Joaquin Valley and is a board member of?Global Farmer Network…?I knew Sheely would have some interesting insights for us and certainly give us an update on where California is with their water issues.” – Link

Genetically modified wheat used to make coeliac-friendly bread – New Scientist – By Michael Le Page (Sept 26)

“People forced to avoid?gluten?could soon have their bread (and cake) and eat it.” – Link



Who is Carey Gillam? – The Western Producer (Canada) – By Robert Arnason (Sept 21)

“?She is currently a paid employee of an activist group that is funded by organic marketing interests that oppose modern agricultural tools, including glyphosate-based herbicides?… Gillam left Reuters in 2015 and became research director with U.S. Right to Know…”” – Link

Editorial: The county’s ag study dilemma – Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado (Sept 16)

“We have nothing against organic farming, but we believe if you want to conduct an unbiased study of sustainable agriculture in Boulder County’s semi-arid climate, you do not predetermine the outcome by recruiting an organization with a political agenda.” – Link

Will customers purchase genetically modified salmon? Canadians did – Supermarket News – By Dan Orlando (Sept 25)

Labeling must still be sorted out before arrival on domestic shelves” – Link

Unfair GM laws a ?catastrophe” for Australian agriculture – FarmOnline (Australia) – By Colin Bettles (Sept 25)

“?It will go down as the decades of rural decline which accelerated due to an era of ?political correctness? where government employees or government did not provide the appropriate governance or scientific push-back…” – Link

The Grocery Industry Confronts a New Problem: Only 10% of Americans Love Cooking – Harvard Business Review – By Eddie Yoon (Sept 22) – Link

Related – ?Cereal Wars: The Bitter Feud Between the Kellogg Brothers (Knowledge@Wharton, Sept 26)

Govt mulls body to promote agricultural biotechnology – The International News (Pakistan) (Sept 26) – Link

Syngenta Said to Pay More Than $1.4 Billion in Corn Accord – AgWeb/Bloomberg (Sept 26) – Link

Flawed findings: Conspiracy theories masked as academic analysis – Food Navigator Asia -?By Katherine Rich (Sept 26)

“In an era when consumers are sceptical of “fake news“, a further concern is brewing.” – Link

Oregon Court of Appeals affirms ruling overturning GMO ban – Capital Press – By Mateusz Perkowski (Sept 26)

“A ruling that invalidated a GMO ban in Oregon?s Josephine County has been affirmed on appeal.” – Link

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