Daily Harvest -- 1/8/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol industry: RFS didn't drive up gas prices
- The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) did not drive up gasoline prices in 2013, as alleged by ethanol opponents, according to a study commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), an industry group.
Agri-Pulse: Senator Leahy says farm bill committee is making progress
- (Audio) Senator Patrick Leah, D-Vt., said the conference committee worked on the legislation over the holiday break. He criticized proposals for extensions of the current farm bill, which he said would fuel needless uncertainty.
Agri-Pulse: Action in Congress and courts could impact agriculture in 2014
- (Audio) With the start of the new year, the agriculture industry remains hopeful the farm bill will be completed within the first few legislative weeks of this year. American Farm Bureau Federation economist Bob Young said he’s sure Congress will pass the Water Resources Development Act, but is unsure about immigration reform being completed in 2014.
Roll Call: Farm Bill Nearing Home Stretch (Updated)
- The long-delayed farm bill may finally be on a glide path to passage, after months of partisan wrangling raised doubts over whether such a day would ever come.
Politico: Debbie Stabenow ‘feeling very good’ about farm bill
- Old farm bill tensions over dairy policy broke back into the open Tuesday even as Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow pushed for a quick wrap-up of the five-year plan, which has been largely been resolved already in House-Senate negotiations.
Wall Street Journal: Cotton Farmers Not Changing Plans Despite Farm Bill Uncertainty
- As the U.S. farm bill continues to languish in Congress, many large cotton growers say their plans for the upcoming planting season remain unchanged.
Wall Street Journal: Jobless-Aid Bill Advances in the Senate
- Legislation to resurrect benefits for the long-term unemployed overcame an important procedural hurdle in the Senate Tuesday, triggering a debate over how to cover the cost and whether other changes could ease the bill through the Senate and a wary House.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Los Angeles Times: 'Traffic light' food labels changed buying habits, study finds
- The notion of making the healthy choice the easy choice — such as a traffic light system that doesn’t require label reading — has gained some currency.
Washington Post: Agriculture scientists support approving genetically altered apple but meet resistance
- The department appears inclined to approve the so-called Arctic apple, designed by a small Canadian company. First, though, officials must confront some enduring public distaste for genetically modified foods.
Huffington Post: McDonald's Commits to Buying Sustainable Beef
- McDonald's sells about 1 billion pounds of beef annually in the U.S. Fiddling with its beef supply is a rather large undertaking.
Politico: Food industry to fire preemptive GMO strike
- The giants of the U.S. food industry who have spent millions fighting state-by-state efforts to mandate new labels for genetically modified organisms are taking a page from their opponents and pushing for a federal GMO law.
Los Angeles Times: Editorial: FDA must stand firm in the 'natural' food fight
- Contrary to what many consumers assume, a "natural" label on foods doesn't necessarily mean much. Now the FDA is being asked to broaden the term "natural" into meaninglessness by allowing genetically engineered food to be labeled natural.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
The Telegraph: Approve GM or our farming will be history, warns minister
- Genetically modified crops must be approved by the European Union if British agriculture is to avoid becoming “the museum of world farming” the Environment Secretary said on Tuesday.
Reuters: Argentine peso hits new lows as food price controls take effect
- Argentina's peso slid to an all-time low on Tuesday as supermarkets implemented food price freezes in an agreement with the government aimed at protecting poor families from one of the world's highest inflation rates.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
San Francisco Chronicle: New prospects in 2014 for an immigration overhaul
- His agenda tattered by last year's confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws.
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