Daily Harvest -- 1/29/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Court dismisses AFBF lawsuit challenging EPA disclosure of farmer data
- The American Farm Bureau Federation says it is considering whether to appeal a federal court's dismissal of its lawsuit seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency from releasing personal information of livestock and poultry farmers in response to Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.
Agri-Pulse: Green groups sue to force EPA regulation of animal farm emissions
- The Environmental Integrity Project and the Humane Society of the United States filed lawsuits in federal court today against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to respond to requests to regulate farm emissions like methane and ammonia.
Agri-Pulse: Rail safety, reliability continue to be hot topics in Washington
- (Subscriber only) Problems in the U.S. rail industry saw plenty of action last year after crippling Midwest grain transportation, and efforts to hold the system in check look to continue into the new Congress.
Agri-Pulse: McGovern named top Democrat on nutrition panel
- Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, one of the House's most outspoken defenders of federal food assistance, has been named the top Democrat on the House Agriculture subcommittee assigned to investigate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: The NAS is examining GE crops
- Marshall Matz and Nina Fedoroff: The new study on genetically engineered (GE) crops now being conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, deserves your attention. It has the potential to impact the agriculture economy, food prices and global food security.
Iowa Farmer Today: Politicians educating politicians, about renewable fuels benefits
- Gov. Terry Branstad and other Iowa officials joined forces with ag organizations and supporters of the renewable fuels industry to launch a campaign to educate presidential candidates about the benefits of biofuels.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Associated Press: Census: 1 in 5 Children on Food Stamps
- Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation's economy tumbled in 2008.
Reuters: U.S. lawmakers propose bill to create single food safety agency
- U.S. lawmakers proposed a bill on Wednesday that would create a single food safety agency by bringing together the oversight functions of the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies.
BBC: McDonald's boss Don Thompson out after nearly three years
- McDonald's boss Don Thompson is stepping down after two and a half years in the job, as the company continues to struggle with a declining customer base in the US.
Bloomberg: Why It's So Hard for McDonald's to Change
- Don Thompson, who will leave the company in March, had two and a half years as chief executive to try to make McDonald's more relevant to U.S. eaters. It took McDonald's two years to develop a simple chicken McWrap.
Wall Street Journal: USDA revises maple syrup grading with descriptive terms
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is revising the grading standards for maple syrup to match international standards so that consumers have a better understanding of what they are buying.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Soybean Association, farm groups push for end to West Coast port dispute
- The American Soybean Association (ASA) and more than 90 other farm and commodity organizations are calling for a quick resolution of a labor dispute that has disrupted operations at West Coast ports, costing the agricultural industry millions of dollars a week.
Agri-Pulse: Poultry industry trade issues
- (Audio) As U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman appeared before congressional committees this week to stress the need for the president to be granted Trade Promotion Authority, poultry producers were meeting in Atlanta discussing trade issues.
The Hill: New Democrats want assurances on party support on trade
- A group of House Democrats who stand ready to support President Obama’s trade agenda are asking Senate Democrats and the White House to take the lead on a historically difficult issue for their party.
Reuters: Pelosi hopes to advance Obama trade agenda, wants protections
- U.S. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday she would like to find a way to grant the Obama administration "fast-track" trade negotiating authority while meeting the concerns of many Democrats about major new free-trade deals.
Wall Street Journal: China’s Rules Smother GMOs, Researcher Says
- China’s government has too many rules restricting the adoption of genetically modified food, and that’s ultimately hurting its long-term competitiveness in the sector, according to a leading Chinese researcher on the topic.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Roberts to work with EPA on water rule
- Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts is pledging to work with the Obama administration to try to resolve farmers' concerns about a proposed rule re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
Reuters: Monarch butterfly count rises as conservationists warn of extinction
- A tally of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico rose to 56. 5 million this year from a record low of 34 million last year but conservationists said on Tuesday the increase was too slight to reduce the threat of extinction facing the insect.
Wall Street Journal: Prairie Chicken Survives a Scare in the Senate
- Strutting, proud, and given to noisy, chest-puffing displays, Plains-states legislators in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday considered the fate of the Lesser Prairie Chicken, one of their most controversial constituents.
Scientific American: What Do Farmers Think about Climate Change?
- Previous studies have found that belief in climate change is linked to more support for climate change actions. Getting a better sense of farmers' views on climate change will also help researchers develop ways to protect food security over the long term.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Fox News: AG nominee backs Obama on immigration actions, cites 'right' to work for all residents
- Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch backed up President Obama on his controversial immigration executive actions during her confirmation hearing Wednesday -- while going as far to say she believed in an illegal immigrant's "right" and "obligation to work."
Wall Street Journal: U.S., Mexico Increasingly Competing for Farm Labor
- The U.S. and Mexico are increasingly competing for a dwindling supply of farm labor, according to a new analysis, a development that likely will have long-term implications for the U.S. agricultural sector.
Capital Press: USDA cannot restrict GMO pine
- A genetically modified variety of pine developed by Arborgen cannot be restricted by USDA, the agency has determined.
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