Clock ticking on tariffs, and sun is setting on ‘Must Read’ – news for weeks of Apr 30 & May 7


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 title says the sun is setting on the current version of the ‘Must Read’ section on the GFN website, and indeed it will be soon.

While it’s been an informative spot for those who frequent it for pertinent news, there’s going to be more focus on the worldwide group of farmers that is the GFN and the telling of their stories.? There are plenty of places to keep brushed up on the news, but there’s only one Global Farmer Network.? So keep an eye on the website for the upcoming changes – and make sure to keep on things on social media at the GFN?Facebook?page and on Twitter at both?@GlobalFarmerNet?and?@World_Farmers?where a new GFN member tweets every couple of weeks.



U.S. Allies Brace for Trade War as Tariff Negotiations Stall – New York Times -?By?Jack Ewing?and?Ana Swanson?(Apr 29)

“…it?s dawning on foreign leaders that decades of warm relations with the United States carry little weight with a president dismissive of diplomatic norms and hostile toward the ground rules of international trade.” – Link

For China, the American Team of Trade Rivals Won?t Be Easy to Please – Wall Street Journal -?By?Bob Davis?in Washington and?Lingling Wei?(Apr 29)

“Beijing is likely to suggest buying more American goods, but chances of a quick resolution of tensions are slim” – Link

Trump Extends Steel, Aluminum Tariff Exemptions for EU, Canada, Mexico – VOA, Voice of America (May 1)

“But the White House says it is giving negotiators 30 more days to work out a deal.” – Link

Trump?s Aggressive Trade Agenda Brings Heightened Tensions – Wall Street Journal – By?William Mauldin?and?Ben Eisen (May 1)

“Number of self-imposed deadlines for agreements make May a crucial month” – Link

A Nafta Deal in May? Negotiators Will Try, But It Won’t Be Easy – Bloomberg – By Eric Martin and Josh Wingrove (May 7) – Link

China Cuts US Soybean Purchases – VOA / AP (May 8)

“China typically buys most of its soybeans from South American nations such as Brazil and Argentina during spring and early summer. It shifts to U.S. soybeans in the fall. As a result, for now, the cutbacks from the United States are relatively small.” – Link

China ramps up checks on U.S. pork imports in potentially costly slowdown – Reuters – By Domique Patton (May 8)

“U.S. pork is now sitting at Chinese ports for up to two weeks, instead of a few days, industry sources told Reuters.” – Link

Is There Cause For Optimism On Trump Trade Deals? – – By Phil Levy (May 10) – Link


Postharvest losses: Curse to African farming – SciDev.Net -By Francis Kokutse?(Apr 30)

“Postharvest losses reduce African smallholders? income by about 15 per cent” – Link

Hungry Chicken Army Deployed to Combat China?s Locust Problem – Bloomberg (Apr 16)

“Locusts expected to destroy area bigger than Jamaica this year” – Link


“And she?s just embarked on an ambitious project that could help shrink the environmental footprint of the beef industry.” – Link

WEMA maize shows promising resistance to destructive fall armyworm – MyJoyOnline (Ghana) – By Joseph Opoku-Gakpo (Apr 26)

“…maize varieties were genetically engineered to withstand drought and the vicious stem borer pest, they?re also showing promising resistance to the destructive fall armyworm pest…” – Link

Scientists in China Race to Edit Crop Genes, Sowing Unease in U.S. – Wall Street Journal – By Jacob Bunge and Lucy Craymer (May 6)

“Chinese-owned Syngenta makes strides in new technologies to alter plant DNA, as U.S. farmers worry that cutting-edge agricultural science is shifting East” – Link

Millennials embrace futuristic farming methods to increase food production – FarmingUK (May 9)

“A new survey has shown that millennials are in favour of using new technology to revolutionise farming methods in the UK.” – Link

GUEST ARTICLE: Don?t let the Dirty Dozen scare you… pesticide residues in perspective – Food Navigator USA -?By Jeremy Brown, US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (May 9)

“If you say the words ?Dirty Dozen? to farmers, don?t be surprised if you see them shudder, as this popular – but fallacious – concept isn?t based on science or reality.” – Link


FDA Approves Facility for GMO Salmon – Drovers – By John Maday (Apr 30)

“From the beginning, though, environmental groups and other interests, including the Alaskan wild-caught Pacific salmon industry, opposed and lobbied heavily against approval…” – Link

Pesticide bill on verge of taking root – Hawaii Tribune Herald – By Max Dible, West Hawaii Today (Apr 29)

“The Hawaii Farm Bureau… testified that a blanket ban was unnecessary and would disadvantage Hawaii farmers.” – Link

Review: How an Environmentalist Changed His Mind About GMOs – The Wire – Devang Mehta?- By (Apr 28)

“Mark Lynas’s ‘Seeds of Science’ accurately dissects the differences in thinking between scientists and activists that have stymied any agreement on GMOs.” – Link

California, Coffee and Cancer: One of These Doesn?t Belong – New York Times, The Upshot – By Aaron E. Carroll (Apr 23)

“A judge?s ruling on warning labels for coffee isn?t backed by evidence and could do more harm than good.” – Link

Hey Amazon, let?s be honest about genetically modified foods [Opinion] – Houston Chronicle – By?By Neva Cochran (Apr 27)

“As a registered dietitian nutritionist and nearly native Texan, I have an idea for Amazon to help Whole Foods? customers as much as lower prices and more items in its stores: Take a closer look at how it markets products to customers and consider doing so in a more honest, less confusing way.” – Link

What are the political drivers for GMOs in developing countries? – Devex – By Lisa Cornish (May 1)

“GMOs have also gained support as a means of addressing growing food insecurity.” – Link

Monsanto appeals to India’s top court over GM cotton patents – Reuters -?Mayank Bhardwaj?(May 4)

“Without the protection offered by the Patents Act, it is not clear how technology providers would be able to monetize their investments…” – Link

Biotech food labeling rule unveiled by USDA – Feedstuffs – By Jacqui Fatka (May 3)

“USDA seeks comments on proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.” – Link

Are you anti-GMO? Then you?re anti-science, too. – Washington Post – By Michael Gerson (May 3)

?”There is more than a hint of cultural imperialism when Westerners ? grown fat on the success of modern farming ? lecture subsistence farmers on the benefits of heirloom breeds and organic methods.” – Link

Shy farmers must speak out to metro audience on big media issues – FarmOnline (Australia) – By Andrew Marshall (May 9)

“Don?t just talk to the local newspaper ??talk to audiences that really need to hear your story.” – Link

Millennials in favour of GM crops as ‘young people embrace technology’ – Farmers Guardian (UK) – By Ewan Pate (May 9)

“Scotland?s staunch opposition to genetic modification (GM) and GM crop technologies may be out of step with youngsters.” – Link

USDA labeling proposal diffuses GMO stigma – Cornell Alliance for Science – By Joan Conrow (May 8)

“To simplify the regulatory process, the USDA is proposing to create two lists of BE foods.” – Link

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