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

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On Tuesday, मई 17 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released an exhaustive report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects. Below are several articles based on the report:

  • Distinction Between Genetic Engineering and Conventional Plant Breeding Becoming Less Clear, Says New Report on GE Crops, The National Academies of Sciences
  • Genetically Engineered Crops Are Safe, Analysis Finds, The New York Times
  • Are GMO crops safe? Focus on the plant, not the process, scientists say, Washington Post
  • Report: GMO crops not harmful to humans, but weed resistance is a problem, Chicago Tribune
  • Study finds no adverse heath effects from genetically engineered crops, The Hill
  • Modified Crops Not Seen Adding to Human Health Risks, Study Says, Bloomberg
  • यू.एस. panel releases consensus on genetically engineered crops, Science
  • National Academy of Sciences Report Finds no Food Safety or Human Health Impacts from GE Crops, CSPI
  • NAS GM crops report will ‘provide fodder for friends and foes of GE,’ says plant scientist, Food Navigator USA

TRADE:

Greece to block TTIP unless geographical indications are protectedEurActivBySarantis Michalopoulos (मई 13)

The Greek government is ready to veto the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU unless it ensures increased protection for key agriculturalgeographical indicators.

Link:http://www.euractiv.com/section/trade-society/news/greece-to-block-ttip-unless-geographical-indications-are-protected/

TTIP trade deal under threat over the Feta factoreuronews (मई 16)

Link:http://www.euronews.com/2016/05/16/ttip-trade-deal-under-threat-over-the-feta-factor/

Farmers need support to adapt to the TPP, say expertsViet Nam News (मई 14)

Experts said the most important thing at present was raising awareness of farmers about the opportunities and challenges of the TPP, so that they will aim to increase productivity and product quality.

Link:http://vietnamnews.vn/society/296757/farmers-need-support-to-adapt-to-the-tpp-say-experts.html

Africa urged to dismantle trade, movement barriers to spur growthDaily Mail (यूके) / Reuters -By Duncan Miriri and Clement Uwiringiyimana (मई 13)

Link:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3589098/Africa-urged-dismantle-trade-movement-barriers-spur-growth.html

EU defends US free trade deal amid growing oppositionLivemint (भारत) / AFP (मई 13)

A historic free trade deal between Europe and the US could be reached if members states endorse it, says EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstroem

Link:http://www.livemint.com/Politics/A7L6FihRkBikBDrBJK0TmL/EU-defends-US-free-trade-deal-amid-growing-opposition.html

Obamas Pivot to Asia Staggers as Trade Deal Stalls in CongressBloombergBy Angela Greiling Keane (मई 15)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said he would prefer the trade agreement over another carrier battle group in the Pacific.

Link:http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-15/obama-s-pivot-to-asia-staggers-as-trade-deal-stalls-in-congress

Trade policy issues are blurring old lines, turning politics in 2016 inside outKansas City StarBy Dave Helling (मई 14)

Candidates and voters in both major parties appear to be switching long-held positions on trade policy: Free-trade Republicans are becoming protectionist, while some Democrats are moving the opposite direction on exports and imports.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article77675362.html#storylink=cpy

Millennials Get Free Trade, Why Doesnt Anyone Else?Investor’s Business Daily, Editorial (मई 13)

A new survey shows that the so-called millennial generation is the only one that thinks free trade is a good thing. So why is it that both political parties are shunning this huge voting block?”

Link:http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/millennials-get-free-trade-why-doesnt-anyone-else/

Imports work for AmericaThe Hill (blog) – By Steve Lamar, contributor (मई 13)

Sadly, the American public knows little about U.S. imports often overlooked in U.S. trade policy and the important role they play in our lives. Rather, lots of attention is devoted to U.S. exports and the jobs and opportunities they create

Link:http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/finance/279788-imports-work-for-america

Why grain farmers support the TPP tradedeal – नेशनल पोस्ट (कनाडा) – By Levi Wood and Jim Wickett (मई 16)

There might be protectionist rhetoric coming from both political parties in the U.S. today, but thats no reason for Canada to not move forward and lead on this critical issue.

Link:http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/why-grain-farmers-support-the-tpp-trade-deal

**Note: Levi Wood is a member of the ग्लोबल किसान नेटवर्क

Cloak of Secrecy Fuels Anxiety Over Trans-Atlantic Trade TalksNew York TimesBy Celestine Bohlen (मई 16)

Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/world/europe/ttip-eu-us-trade-deal.html

US beef arrives in South Africa- GlobalMeatNews -By Oscar Rousseau (मई 17)

The first shipment of US beef has arrived in South Africa, after an intense and long-running trade dispute between both nations was resolved in January.

Govt says domestic agriculture to go on offensive under TPPThe Japan News / Jiji Press (मई 17)

Japan will go on the offensive in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries by taking advantage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, a government white paper on agriculture said Tuesday.

Link:http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002952327

Trade Is a National Security ImperativeWall Street JournalBy Robert B. Zoellick (मई 16)

Abandoning the Pacific pact will tell Americas Asian allies that the U.S. is yielding to China. They will accommodate accordingly.

Link:http://www.wsj.com/articles/trade-is-a-national-security-imperative-1463440063

Anti-trade rhetoric not denting U.S. trade chief’s hopes for TPP voteReutersBy Mitra Taj (मई 17)

Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-tpp-froman-idUSKCN0Y82PC

OTHER:

Marketing Ploy May Mean Moving Ag BackwardsAgInfo.netBy KayDee Gilkey (मई 12)

We make all of these amazing innovations and then we preclude them from being used. This is not helping with overall food productions footprint it is going the wrong way.

Link:http://www.aginfo.net/index.cfm/event/report/id/Open-Range-34051

The Meaninglessness of ‘Healthy’ खाना: Six Ways Labels Need to ChangeBloombergBy Deena Shanker (मई 12)

Link:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-12/the-meaninglessness-of-healthy-food-six-ways-labels-need-to-change

The Harm in Blindly Going Gluten FreeThe AtlanticBy James Hamblin (मई 16)

Link:http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/05/celiac-vs-gluten/482676/

Zimbabwe DroughtFive Million Face Food ShortageallAfrica / Al Jazeera (मई 16)

Link:http://allafrica.com/stories/201605170129.html

Lessons from fighting a droughtLivemint (भारत) – By NS Ramnath (मई 17)

Seven learnings on how droughts can be managed to take the sting out of the phenomena

Link:http://www.livemint.com/Politics/HrOM4GiBI0vQJpCDfejhkN/Lessons-from-fighting-a-drought.html

**Note: वी. Ravichandran in the article is a member of the Global Farmer Networkand recipient of the 2013 Kleckner पुरस्कार.

REGULATORY, GOV’T:

EPA faces second U.S. lawmakers investigation into glyphosate reviewReutersBy P.J. Huffstutter (मई 13)

A second group of lawmakers is investigating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its review of glyphosate, questioning why it withdrew a report that said the chemical in the world’s most widely used weed killer was likely not carcinogenic.

Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-glyphosate-epa-idUSKCN0Y42GV

Congress Questions EPA on Glyphosate, AtrazineAgWebBy Alison Rice (मई 13)

Members are also frustrated by the pace of EPAs process. We are concerned that EPA has continually delayed its review of glyphosate, the letter said.

Link:http://www.agweb.com/article/congress-questions-epa-on-glyphosate-atrazine-naa-alison-rice/

Senate strengthens flood control, waterways infrastructure -Delta Farm PressByForrest Laws(मई 13)

Link:http://deltafarmpress.com/government/senate-strengthens-flood-control-waterways-infrastsructure

Judge strikes down GMO ban in Oregons Josephine CountyCapital PressBy Mateusz Perkowski (मई 16)

Link:http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20160516/judge-strikes-down-gmo-ban-in-oregons-josephine-county

Glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer: WHO/FAO committee- Food Navigator -By Niamh Michail(मई 17)

Monsanto Cancels Plan to Sell GMO Seed in ArgentinaWall Street JournalBy Jacob Bunge and Taos Turner (मई 17)

“[T]he governments actions were not consistent with its past promises to support intellectual property rights and private agreements.

Link:http://www.wsj.com/articles/monsanto-cancels-plan-to-sell-gmo-seed-in-argentina-1463523453

Argentine farmers urge gov’t to clinch GMO deal with MonsantoSt. Louis Post-DispatchBy Hugh Bronstein, Reuters (मई 18)

Link:http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/article_04cdc8e2-ac23-550a-9315-6c6703106555.html

Errors, Bias And Conflicts Of Interest Make UN Agency Contender For Worst Regulator Ever Forbes.comBy Henry I. Miller (मई 18)

Because of its [glyphosate] association with genetic engineering, activists hate it and have long tried to raise safety concerns about the chemical.

Link:http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/05/18/bias-hidden-agendas-and-conflicts-of-interest-make-un-agency-contender-for-worst-regulator-ever/#565171bf609a

Stalemate at EU glyphosate talks, no vote taken- Feed Navigator -By Jane Byrne (मई 19)

The glyphosate dossier is to be handed over to the Commission, following on from the PAFF committee’s failure today to generate a vote on the controversial herbicide.

Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency approve AquAdvantage SalmonGovernment of Canada (मई 19)

AquAdvantage Genetically Modified Salmon Found to be Safe as a Food and a Livestock Feed

Link:http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=index&crtr.page=2&nid=1068309

BIOTECH:

Mysuru institute tests GM, disease-resistant silkwormsThe Times of India (मई 15)

According to a textile ministry document, the genetically modified wormscan prevent the losses caused by the Grasserie disease, which is responsible for up to 20% crop loss in silkworm”.”

Link:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Mysuru-institute-tests-GM-disease-resistant-silkworms/articleshow/52274681.cms

Smart Farming report urges axing of biotech prohibitionsThe Land (ऑस्ट्रेलिया) – By Colin Bettles (मई 15)

The House of Representatives Agriculture and Industry Committees Smart Farming report has recommended cutting duplicative State laws that frighten potential agricultural biotechnology investments and hinder farm productivity, by undermining federal food safety regulators.

Link:http://www.theland.com.au/story/3908272/smart-farming-report-urges-axing-of-biotech-prohibitions/

Failed Greenpeace anti-GM campaign exposedThe Land (ऑस्ट्रेलिया) – By Colin Bettles (मई 15)

The activist incident was outlined in detail in a report handed down by the House of Representatives Environment Committee last week which recommended sanctions against groups listed for tax deductions that break the law repeatedly.

Link:http://www.theland.com.au/story/3907598/failed-greenpeace-anti-gm-campaign-exposed/

Are there GMOs in our moon dust? Gwyneth Paltrow demands to know!GristBy Eve Andrews (मई 13)

Link:http://grist.org/living/are-there-gmos-in-our-moon-dust-gwyneth-paltrow-demands-to-know/

GM potato field trials get the go-aheadFarmers Weekly (यूके) – By Johann Tasker (मई 12)

Link: http://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/gm-potato-field-trials-get-the-go-ahead.htm

National Academy of Sciences finds no evidence of GMO health effects- St. Louis Post-DispatchBy Jacob Barker (मई 17)

One of the nations premier scientific bodies says it has found no evidence of adverse human health effects after 20 years of genetically-modified crop adoption.

Link:http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/national-academy-of-sciences-finds-no-evidence-of-gmo-health/article_a7ffbe9a-5848-5826-aa28-6b75b3c947d2.html

Keeping My Farm Sustainable With GMO CropsForbes.comBy Gene Stoel (मई 17)

GMOs allow farmers to fight insects and weeds more effectively and enhance soil health.

Link:http://www.forbes.com/sites/gmoanswers/2016/05/17/keeping-my-farm-sustainable-with-gmo-crops/#2cf202362c5c

Bt cotton adoption creates more employment opportunities in female laborers in PakistanCrop Biotech Update, ISAAA (मई 18)

Link: http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14416

Taller, stronger rice plantThe Daily Star (Bangladesh) – By Reaz Ahmed (मई 15)

Bangladeshi scientists develop 2 modern, high-yielding varieties that can withstand tidal surge

Link:http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/taller-stronger-rice-plant-1224073

Mitch Daniels Takes on ‘Callous, Heartless and CruelAnti-GMO ActivistsNational ReviewBy Julie Kelly (मई 18)

When you hold so many moral high cards on something thats best for the environment and for humanity, you have to be willing to mix it up, he told me. People with a direct self-interest are actively misinforming the public. We need to counter that in a more forceful way.

Link:http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435523/mitch-daniels-gmos-good

We must end our superstitious objections to genetically modified foodThe Telegraph (यूके) – By Juliet Samuel (मई 18)

Where does modern corn on the cob come from? Well-informed diners will know the answer: Latin America. But what they probably dont know is that it never grew there naturally. Humans created it.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/05/18/we-must-end-our-superstitious-objections-to-genetically-modified/

GM crops ideal for drought-hit TSThe Hindu (भारत) (मई 19)

Link:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/gm-crops-ideal-for-droughthit-ts/article8618594.ece

Scientists refute the scaremongering about GMOs Washington Post, Editorial (मई 19)

“[T]he National Academiesauthoritative reportrefutes the counterproductive scaremongering from the anti-genetically-engineered side.

Link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/scientists-refute-the-scaremongering-about-gmos/2016/05/19/47607924-1c7a-11e6-b6e0-c53b7ef63b45_story.html