Tariffs and NAFTA talk heats up, Russian anti-GMO efforts, and more – news for weeks of Mar 5 & 12


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.



Trump uses tariffs as negotiating tactic in NAFTA talks – CNNMoney – By Patrick Gillespie (Mar 5)

“Last week Trump said he will impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from all countries. Over the weekend, his advisers confirmed that no countries are expected to receive exemptions from the tariffs.” – Link

Trump says Canada and Mexico will escape new tariffs only after NAFTA concessions – Washington Post – By Damian Paletta (Mar 5)

“Tying NAFTA to the steel and aluminum tariffs shows that Trump is trying to use his new trade gambit as leverage” – Link

Farm Republicans revolt against Trump?s steel ?tax.? Warn it?ll cost him at the polls. – McClatchy – By Franco Ordonez and Lindsay Wise (Mar 2) – Link

Azev?do calls on members to avoid triggering an escalation in trade barriers – World Trade Organization (Mar 5) – Link

Trade gap between domestic and imported organic soy & corn raises questions about fraud – Food Navigator USA -?By Elizabeth Crawford (Mar 5)

“In some cases products labeled as organic imported from certain countries exceed the total amount of that product the country could even produce.” – Link

China to scrap US broiler duties following WTO debate – GlobalMeatNews.com – By Keith Nuthall (Mar 3)

“China has said it will scrap the anti-dumping and countervailing duties it has been imposing on broiler product exports from the United States, following a long World Trade Organisation (WTO) battle over the issue.” – Link

Eyes on the ‘prize’: Canada hosting South American bloc in hopes of accessing free trade with Brazil, Argentina – National Post (Canada) – By Marie-Danielle Smith (Feb 28) – Link

Eleven nations?but not US?to sign Trans-Pacific trade deal – CNBC / Reuters (Mar 8)

“The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy – a total of $10 trillion. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.” – Link

EU-US trade spat: ?This is the last thing we need,? say EU farmers – Food Navigator – By Niamh Michail (Mar 9)

“A trade dispute between the US and EU would hit the agricultural sectors of both countries hard, farming association Copa and Cogeca has warned.” – Link

Trump on Trade: Better Than Smoot-Hawley? – Rasumessen Reports – Commentary By Michael Barone (Mar 9)

Trump’s move is widely depicted as a departure from free trade policies pursued by every administration since World War II. But… his move is not all that different from what other postwar presidents have done.” – Link

Another Party Line Split, This Time On Tariffs – Rasmussen Reports (Mar 14)

“Most Republicans support the new order, but Democrats give it a thumbs down.” – Link

Trudeau Floats Tariffs to Prevent Flood of Steel Through Canada – Bloomberg – By Josh Wingrove (Mar 13) – Link

Next round of NAFTA talks could begin April 8 – Mexican minister – Reuters (Mar 14) – Link

Is the Trade Resurgence Sustainable? – [email protected], Univ. of Penn (Mar 12)

“Amid reports of rising economic nationalism and potential trade wars, what gets missed is that the strong uptick in trade over the last two years looks likely to wind down even without the newest threats.” – Link


Experts aim to turn tobacco plant from killer into biofactory – Feedstuffs (Feb 26)

“New varieties of tobacco potentially could produce compounds such as antibodies, vaccines and medicines in a sustainable manner.” – Link

Probiotic fruits: The future of healthy snacking – Nutraingredients – By Tim Cutcliffe (Mar 5)

“…agricultural industry needs to take breeding research seriously by testing for heat-tolerant varieties.- Link

Genetic tweak makes plants use 25% less water – Yahoo! News / AFP (France) – By Marlowe Hood (Mar 6)

“If major food crops respond the same way, they said, the first-of-its-kind genetic “hack” could help feed the growing population of an increasingly water-starved world.” – Link

Brazil sugar mills start genetically-modified cane plantation – Reuters – By Jose Roberto Gomes (Mar 2) – Link

Uganda’s researchers ready to taste test their GMO vitamin A-enriched banana – Genetic Literacy Project – By Lominda Afedraru (Mar 12) – Link




Not just elections? Russia meddles in GMO debate, too – The New Food Economy – By H. Claire Brown (Feb 27)

“If Russia is able to effectively discredit the U.S. biotechnology industry?an industry which has considerable public relations problems already?it may open up new global markets for Russian exports.” – Link

To Create Conflict, Russians Fuel GMO Debate – Futurism – By Dom Galeon (Feb 28)

“It?s also worth noting that?GMOs are banned in Russia, as the country claims to be the world?s leading organic crop exporter.” – Link

See also related to issue:?

Republicans Accuse Russia of Using Social Media to Roil U.S. Energy Policy -?Bloomberg – By Ari Natter and Alan Bjerga (Mar 1)

“Russia, which has surpassed the U.S. to become the world?s leading exporter of wheat, has banned production and imports of genetically modified crops. It?s rebranding its agriculture as “ecologically clean”” – Link

GMOs: Give farmers a chance to speak out – Daily Monitor (Uganda) – By Emma Naluyima (Mar 2)

“…because actual farmers are too busy on their farms to be part of these debates, arm-chair farmers and NGOs claiming to represent farmers have jumped on this [anti-GMO] activism.” – Link

Monsanto vs illegal seeds: Illegal ones selling at 1.7x show farmers value?technology – The Financial Express (India) (Feb 24)

“Illegal ones selling at 1.7x show farmers value technology” – Link

Bill Gates calls GMOs ‘perfectly healthy’ ? and scientists say he’s right – Business Insider – By Erin Brodwin (Feb 27) – Link

Argentina approves GMO varieties for corn and soybeans – Reuters (Mar 6) – Link

Ripe for a rethink: Why the anti-GMO crowd can’t have it both ways – Financial Post (Canada) – By Toban Dyck (Mar 12)

“Consumers need to come to intelligent conclusions about the various things for which they criticize the agricultural community… ?People think that just because something is organic, it?s better…I know of some very toxic organic pesticides. Ones that are very poisonous.?” – Link

The “organic” label is often meaningless.? Here’s the next food phrase big brands are banking on. – Mic – By Alex Orlov (Mar 8)

?Regenerative agriculture? is a bit of a mouthful compared to ?organic,? but there?s a good reason why consumers should familiarize themselves with the term: It will start appearing on food labels as a way for brands to demonstrate they work with farmers dedicated to healthy soil.” – Link

Bayer Faces U.S. Hurdles for Monsanto Antitrust Nod – Blooomberg – By David McLaughlin (Mar 15)

“The government wants the German chemicals company to divest more assets to resolve its concerns” – Link

Russia’s war on GMOs – Boulder Weekly – By Paul Danish (Mar 15)

“So what are the Russians after here?” – Link

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