China attending TPP meeting, food films, and more GM potatoes approved – news for week of March 13


News items related to ag tech, 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 newest items will be in?green at bottom of sections). ?Be sure to check in regularly.


Seems rather appropriate to put this article up top to see. ?This is what it’s all about….

Finding the next generation of Norman Borlaugs to help feed the world – Des Moines Register – By Daniel P. Finney (Mar 11)

“[P]eople with different talents and skills can help feed the world…” – Link


So why have “science superhero” Neil deGrasse Tyson in the main photo for this page? ?Well, because he’s the narrator for “Food Evolution” which is one of the film selections being screened March 14-26 during the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC.

See the story on that, and other items of interest below…


China to attend Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting – UPI – By Elizabeth Shim (Mar 13)
“China, though not a member state of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership signed by 12 countries, has agreed to send a delegation to attend ministerial-level meetings in Chile..” – Link
Trump?s trade agenda faces challenge in winning over Republicans – MarketWatch – By William Mauldin & Jacob M. Schesinger from The Wall Street Journal (Mar 13)

“Republican lawmakers are showing increasing resistance to President Donald Trump?s trade agenda, worried that his plans could hurt exports from their states and undermine longstanding U.S. alliances.” – Link

Trump’s attack dog on trade – Politico, The Agenda – By Megan Cassella (Mar 11)

“The California professor behind Trump?s anti-China policy is a mini-Trump himself.” – Link

Ross says trade deal with Japan a ?very high priority? for Trump administration – The Japan Times / Kyodo (Mar 11)

“The comment was taken as suggesting that the United States may propose talks for a bilateral FTA during a high-level economic dialogue the two governments are planning to start in April.” – Link


“Ross told reporters that “sometime in the next couple of weeks” he hopes to send a letter notifying Congress that the Trump administration intends to launch NAFTA negotiations in 90 days.” – Link

How U.S. Farms Win and Lose When Competitors Rise – Bloomberg -?By Alan Bjerga, Blacki Migliozzi and Cindy Hoffman (Mar 13)

“For many years, U.S. dominance as the top agricultural exporter has been slipping even as rising sales have allowed producers to prosper. Simply put, other countries have been able to catch up as they develop more farmland and improve their own trade prospects.” – Link

Trump Boosts South America Trade Talks, Brazil Minister Says – Bloomberg – By Raymond Colitt and Bruce Douglas (Mar 10)

“The Mercosur customs union plans to launch trade talks with Canada, India, and maybe South Korea and Japan in the next 18 months, while cutting its own red tape using more “pragmatism and less ideology…” – Link

UK looks to supercharge EU trade deals post-Brexit – The Telegraph (UK) – By Tim Wallace (Mar 12)

“[T]hey [UK] are now looking at making this an interim position with the aim of making an even freer deal later, because the existing [EU] deals include chunks of protectionism added in by other EU governments in the negotiation stages previously.” – Link

Vietnam Looks for Trade Deal with US – VOA (Mar 14)

“Some observers say Prime Minister Nguyen has a good chance to reach a trade deal with the U.S.” – Link

World prepares to move on without U.S. on trade – Politico, The Agenda – By Adam Behsudi (Mar 14)

“Competitors say they have no choice but to take the money U.S. businesses would have earned otherwise.” – Link


Organic is a single part of a sustainable food system, and only works in certain contexts: study?- Food Navigator – By Louis Gore-Langton (Mar 13)

“Organic may be less sustainable and less beneficial to consumer health than previously thought, according to new research.” – Link

GM BWX-resistant bananas start their journey to the farmer – Cornell Alliance for Science – By Patricia Nanteza (Mar 6)

“This?planting of this multi-location trial?is as historic as it is important in the journey to take?GM bananas to farmers in Uganda,?and later throughout?the region. For a GM crop to reach the farmers/consumers, it has to go through phases.” – Link

Creole maize reveals adaptation secrets – SciDevNet – By Lucina Melesio (Mar 10)

“Results will help breeders to obtain varieties better adapted to local conditions” – Link

Avian influenza global spread raises concern for next human pandemic and poultry production – ABC Rural (Australia) – By Sarina Locke (Mar 13)

“Forty new countries have reported avian influenza since November 2016, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE.” – Link

‘Tactical science’ new strategy for U.S. food safety – Southwest Farm Press – By Logan Hawkes (Mar 9)

“America?s food supply… is under continuous threat from numerous foreign, emerging, and endemic pests, diseases, and toxic elements, such as contaminants…” – Link

Maize engineered to silence deadly toxins in poisonous mould – New Scientist – By Chelsea Whyte (Mar 10)

“This GM corn can police the Aspergillus fungus on its own cobs and stop it producing poisonous aflatoxin that causes liver disease and cancer.” – Link

Florida?s citrus production slides to historic low – Southeast Farm Press – By Brad Haire (Mar 9)
“Florida citrus growers continue to lose ground in their decade-long fight against citrus greening disease, falling to a record low production this season.” – Link
Say Hello to Finger-Lickin? Lab-Grown Chicken – MIT Technology Review – By Jamie Condliffe (Mar 15)

“The first animal-free chicken strips are here?but they?ll cost you $9,000 per pound.” – Link


U.S. approves 3 more types of Simplot GMO potatoes for sale this year – The Idaho Statesman – By Keith Ridler, Associated Press (Mar 13)
“They are safe for the environment and safe to eat, officials announced.” – Link
The battle over genetically modified food makes it to film – The Washington Post – By Vicki Hallett (Mar 11)
“The rising tension between ?anti-GMO crusaders and researchers striving to improve crops is the focus of ?Food Evolution,? a documentary narrated by science superhero Neil deGrasse Tyson.” – Link
Medium – Natural Assumptions???My failed attempt to defend Organic?Farming- By Iida Ruishalme (Feb 23)

“Having to change a deep-seated world view can be exhausting and painful. I am thankful for this experience and see it as a reminder to stay respectful of others, no matter what beliefs they may hold.” – Link

ABC News to Face South Dakota Jury Over ?Pink Slime? Story – Wall Street Journal – By Peg Brickley (Mar 14)

“Judge Gering, in rejecting ABC?s bid to have the case dismissed, said a jury could find the network was pursuing ?a negative spin? on the story before conducting any research and that Mr. Avilla had an anti-meat-industry agenda.” – Link

The land of plenty we take for granted – Delta Farm Press – By Hembree Brandon (Mar 13)
“The abundance of packaged, processed, pre-cooked, foods in just one supermarket is incredible, and we take it all for granted.” – Link
Key Element of Monsanto Weed Killer Not a Carcinogen, European Agency Says – New York Times – By Danny Hakim (Mar 15)

?Glyphosate should not be classified as a carcinogen, that is, as a substance causing cancer,? Tim Bowmer, chairman of the committee for risk assessment at the European Chemicals Agency, said at a news briefing. ?This conclusion was based both on the human evidence and the weight of the evidence of all of the animal studies reviewed.? – Link

See also – related to some claims made by the NYT author a rebuttal in?Glyphosate: NYT’s Danny Hakim Is Lying To You

Glyphosate found ?not carcinogenic?: Key European safety agency joins consensus view on herbicide?s safety – Genetic Literacy Project – By Andrew Porterfield (Mar 16)

“Why the controversy?…?Opponents of genetic modifications of crops often use?it as a symbol of the potential harm…” – Link

Expanded WA Upper House crossbench problematic for future GM crops – FarmOnline (Australia) – By Colin Bettles (Mar 13)

“Labor’s comprehensive victory at the weekend?s WA election raises questions about the future status of plant biotechnology development in the large grain cropping and exporting state due to an expanded Upper House crossbench.” – Link

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