एजी तकनीक से संबंधित समाचार आइटम, जैव प्रौद्योगिकी, 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 ingreenat bottom of sections). Check the page during the week for updates.

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कुंआ, the page for the week of Oct 16 is showing up a bit tardy, so we’re just rolling into the next week’s page too. There is a good excuse though since the 2017 Global Farmer Roundtable is this very same week during the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. If you haven’t checked out GFNs Facebook (here) or Twitter pages (here And here)please do because you’ll see some fantastic coverage of this year’s Roundtable and surrounding activity. This year’s Kleckner Award recipientMotlatsi Musi from South Africatruly is the epitome of perseverance, humility, inspiration and hope.

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And on to the title for the page In recent years the media in general has taken a hit to its credibility; there’s been good reason why and justafiabley so many times. But that doesn’t mean there is not some good reporting being done and credible journalists out there working hard to get the facts straight.

Over the past year or so, Kate Kelland at Reuters has delved into the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a semi-autonomous unit of the United Nation’s agency The World Health Organization. You’ll recall that IARCs assessment of glyphosate was that it probably causes cancer in people, and that was counter to every other national or international agency that has reviewed it. See here तथा here for past coverage.

The most recent investigative piece by Kelland from Oct 19 shatters any sense that there isn’t some type of influence that’s taken hold on what’s going on at IARC.In glyphosate review, WHO cancer agency edited outnon-carinogenicfindingsleaves little to the imagination as to what happened, to quote:

One effect of the changes to the draft, reviewed by Reuters in a comparison with the published report, was the removal of multiple scientistsconclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals.

In one instance, a fresh statistical analysis was insertedeffectively reversing the original finding of a study being reviewed by IARC.

In another, a sentence in the draft referenced a pathology report ordered by experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It noted the report firmly and unanimously agreed that the compound glyphosate had not caused abnormal growths in the mice being studied. In the final published IARC monograph, this sentence had been deleted.

Reuters has absolutely blown up any credibility IARC may have had with the investigative reporting. In additon, The Times in London reported that a scientist who advised IARC was paid bylaw firmsbringing claims by cancer victims against the manufacturerand never declared that link. You have to read his responses yourself to believe his audacity, which is simply incredible.

It begs the question why an agency such as IARC even exists given that it has only ever listed 1 agent under its classification of Group 4 asprobably not carcinogenic to humans”. Think about that, and take a look for yourselfonly 1. If while reading that you’re enjoying a coffee or cup of tea, you might ponder that IARC saysdrinking very hot beverages probably causes canceras wellyep, read it here. But that’s a bit of an improvement as IARC had for a long time warned that coffee itself might cause cancer, but finally then opted to go withnot classifiableinstead (yep, again read it here). GFN has pointed out the problems before, the more recent column which you can see here.

The link to the Reuters and The Times pieces are below, as well as other news items of interest.

 


TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

A Scalpel, Not a Chainsaw, for NAFTANational Review, Editorial (Oct 17)

President Donald Trump has ordered his trade representative to renegotiate certain aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is a good idea. He also has threatened to pull out of the trade accord altogether, which is a terrible idea…” – Link

Officials disrupt Egypts wheat supplies in protest to losing jolliesFood Navigator AsiaBy Richard Whitehead (Oct 18)

Government inspectors furious at losing their travel perks are behind the disruption of wheat shipments to the worlds biggest buyer.” – Link(Note: wonder if this is classified under non-tariff trade barrier??)

Canada ‘extremely worriedabout NAFTA: AmbroseCTV NewsBy Rachel Aiello (Oct 22)

I actually think its time for us to be worried, I think we are worried behind the scenes, and I think we have to start activating everyone who understands why it matters…” – Link

What Does the Future Hold for NAFTA? – Knowledge@Wharton (Oct 23)

As the latest round of talks between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (नाफ्टा) ended last week in a stalemate, two issues emerged as the key sticking points.” – Link

US must get back into the game in the Asia PacificThe HillOpinion by Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer (Oct 23)

The region does not want the US to disengage, but it does have options.” – Link

Incoming NZ leader to push for TPP changesThe Straits Times (Singapore) (Oct 23)

Ms Ardern told The New Zealand Herald that she may pull out of the TPP if other countries did not agree to a renegotiation…” – Link

Macron wants EU to take hard stance in trade talksGlobalMeatNews.comBy Oscar Rousseau (Oct 24)

French President Emmanuel Macron wants the European Union (EU) to take a tougher stance on controversial trade talks.” – Link

More Australian red meat exporters may be in Chinas firing lineFarmOnline (ऑस्ट्रेलिया) – By Colin Bettles (Oct 25)

“…the Chinese temporary suspension handed down in July is estimated to be costing the Australian exporters about $1 million per day.” – Link

A Farmers View of NAFTANational ReviewBy Blake Hurst (Oct 25)

President Trump fails to understand the importance of free-trade to Americas long-term economic success.” – Link


AG, AG TECH, RESEARCH, PRODUCTION, PROTECTION, RELATED ISSUES:

Ag companies commit to the promising rise of biologicalsSoutheast Farm PressBy John Hart (Oct 19)

Biostimulants are viewed as a key growth area in the burgeoning biological pesticide market.” – Link

CSIRO technology delivers non-browning applesFarmOnline (ऑस्ट्रेलिया) (Oct 20)

This non-browning technology has potential to reduce waste not only in apples and potatoes but also in other important horticultural crops…” – Link

Will CRISPR-Cas kick start a new Green Revolution? – AgWeb, Farm Journal Media (Oct 22)

The importance of this for farmers and consumers is that CRISPR-Cas may help speed up the process of getting preferable genetics into food crops.” – Link

 


POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

In glyphosate review, WHO cancer agency edited out non-carcinogenic findingsReuters InvestigatesBy Kate Kelland (Oct 19)

When the International Agency for Research on Cancer assessed the best-selling weedkiller glyphosate, significant changes were made between a draft of its report and the published version. The agency won’t say who made the changes or why.” – Link

Weedkiller scientist was paid 120,000 by cancer lawyersThe Times (यूके) – By Ben Webster (Oct 18)

A scientist who advised a United Nations agency [IARC] to classify the worlds most widely used weedkiller as carcinogenic received $160,000 (121,500) from law firms bringing claims by cancer victims against the manufacturer.” – Link(subscription-based, free limited access available)

BASF Comments on $7 Billion Bayer PurchaseByAshley Davenport- AgWeb (Oct 19)

This transaction will launch BASF into the business of selling crop seed for the first time.” – Link

Eye-catching labels stigmatize many healthy foodsFeedstuffs (Oct 20)

Study findsprocesslabels like organic, fair trade and cage free can affect consumer behavior, even when there’s no scientific basis.” – Link

War against chemicals is a shame on scienceThe Times (यूके) – By Matt Ridley (Oct 23)

A perfectly useful herbicide could be banned in Europe thanks to a tangled network of lobbyists, lawyers and activists” – Link (subscription-based, free limited access available)
*See alsoPressure mounts for European glyphosate ban (Food Navigator, Oct 23)

EU: No decision taken on glyphosateFood NavigatorBy Jane Byrne (Oct 25)

The decisive vote due today on the reauthorization of the EU license for the controversial herbicide, glyphosate, did not take placeit was postponed.” – Link

Should precision breeding biotech be included in GMO regulation? – Fod Navigator -By Katy Askew (Oct 23)

Developments in genetic coding techniques open the doorway to crops that produce higher yields or have positive characteristics, such as drought or pest resistance. The EU regulates the cultivation and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food but debate rages over whether new biotechnologies such as CRISPR-Cas gene editing should be treated differently.”- Link