News at the start of the New Year – weeks of Jan 1 & 8


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.


NAFTA draws mixed feelings in Mexico as trade talks continue – Phoenix Business Journal – By Andrea Jaramillo, Cronkite Borderlands Initiative (Dec 28)

“[A]s some Mexican officials try to convince U.S. President Donald Trump that NAFTA has been beneficial for both countries, Mexican critics of the treaty think it?s time for their government to take a hard look at its shortcomings.” – Link

Half of U.S. soy exports to China would fall afoul of new rules – Reuters – By Tom Polansek, Michael Hirtzer (Dec 27)

?It?s going to raise the costs of sending the soybeans to China? – Link

What’s Next for Agriculture in the WTO? – U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service -?By Jason Hafemeister, Trade Counsel, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Jan 5)

“Following the conclusion of the 11th?World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference last month, it?s time for WTO members to reflect, reset, and reinvigorate the agriculture negotiations to tackle the real-world international trade concerns that face agriculture today.” – Link

Trump Courts Economic Mayhem – Wall Street Journal – Commentary By Robert B. Zoellick (Jan 7)

“This year we?ll find out how serious he is about protectionism. So far the signs aren?t good.” – Link?(subscription-based)

Russia to fight EU retaliatory duty bid over pigmeat ban – – By Eugene Vorotnikov, in Voronezh, Russia; and Keith Nuthall (Jan 8)

“The Russian government will fight an application by the European Union (EU) at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for permission to impose retaliatory trade sanctions worth ?1.39 billion over Moscow?s ban on EU pork and pigs.” – Link

Post-Brexit trade talks set to start soon – Food Manufacture (UK) – By Rick Pendrous (Jan 8)

“The next 12 months will prove pivotal in determining whether the UK can negotiate a favourable free-trade deal with the EU that meets the needs of food and drink manufacturers.” – Link

White House preparing for trade crackdown – Politico – By Andrew Restuccia and Doug Palmer (Jan 7)

“As Trump returns to a key campaign pledge, upcoming closed-door meetings will shed light on how aggressive the president plans to be.” – Link

McKinney throws down Canadian trade gauntlet – Farm Press – By Holly Spangler (Jan 8)

“USDA undersecretary for trade doesn?t mince words about what Canada needs to do to make NAFTA negotiations happen.” – Link

Canada files WTO complaint against US over trade rules – BBC News (Jan 10)

“The action comes amid disputes between the two countries over areas such as dairy, aircraft sales and lumber as well as efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.” – Link

Mexico will leave NAFTA talks if Trump triggers process to withdraw – Reuters – (Jan 10) – Link



Agriculture a hard sell for Zimbabwe?s youth – IRIN – By Tawanda Majoni (Dec 27)

“For many young people, the city holds more promise than the field” – Link

Uganda’s ‘Super Beans’ – an Answer to Food Insecurity? – allAfrica / Deutsche Welle – By Frank Yiga (Dec 22)

“They’re a bio-fortified seed variety… they’re drought tolerant, have high nutritional value and attain good yields.” – Link

U.S. Eyes Increased Pumping From Central Valley Project – KQED News / Associated Press (Dec 29)

“The Trump administration said Friday it will look at revving up water deliveries to farmers from California?s Central Valley Project…” – Link

Meet the Woman Using CRISPR to Breed All-Male ?Terminator Cattle? – MIT Technology Review – By Andrew Rosenblum (Jan 10)

“Gene-editing technology has big potential in farm animals. It has been used to create pigs immune to viruses and sheep whose wool grows longer.” – Link


Avoiding GMOs isn?t just anti-science. It?s immoral. – The Washington Post – By Mitch Daniels (Dec 27)

It?s time to move the argument to a new plane. For the rich and well-fed to deny Africans, Asians or South Americans the benefits of modern technology is not merely anti-scientific. It?s cruel, it?s heartless, it?s inhumane ? and it ought to be confronted on moral grounds that ordinary citizens, including those who have been conned into preferring?non-GMO Cheerios, can understand.” – Link

What’s Going On With Glyphosate – AgWeb – By Sonja Begemann (Dec 27)

“While glyphosate has been used for more than 40 years, certain regulators and activist groups are revving up their charge against the popular herbicide.” – Link

When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5,000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders – New York Times – By Steve Eder (Dec 27)

“Produce growers represent a textbook example of what businesses describe
as regulatory fatigue. President Trump is tapping into the discontent.” – Link

Foods containing GM golden rice can be sold in Australia and New Zealand – Food Navigator Asia -?By Gary Scattergood (Jan 3)

“Products containing traces of golden rice, which is genetically modified to produce beta-carotene, should be able to be sold in Australia and New Zealand, regulators have ruled.” – Link

Attorneys General support Prop 65 injunction – Farm Futures (Jan 4)

“NAWG filed suit in November 2017 challenging Proposition 65, which would label glyphosate as a carcinogen.” – Link

Want to fix agriculture? Stop with the name-calling ? and death threats. – Washington Post – By Tamar Haspel (Jan 5) – Link

Once And For All, Here?s What Science Says About GMOs – Futurism – By Alexandra Ossola (Jan 10)

“The further we move from facts and the truth, the harder it is to come to rational conclusions on these subjects.” – Link

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