Daily Harvest -- 3/10/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for March 10, 2016
- (Audio) Sec. Vilsack urges approval of special payment to cotton producers; biotech labeling bill could meet Senate floor next week; FTC and Justice Department promise fair evaluation of Dow-DuPont and ChemChina-Syngenta mergers; and FDA’s new menu labeling requirements are delayed again. This and more in today’s Daybreak.
Agri-Pulse: Diverse coalition urges Congress not to cut farm bill programs
- A broad coalition of agriculture interests, conservation groups and nutrition advocates is appealing to Congress not to make any cuts in farm bill spending this year.
Agri-Pulse: Ag groups have an eye on the next farm bill
- (Audio) Many wonder if the 2014 Farm Bill might be the last farm bill, but some of the nation's leading ag groups are already working to make sure that isn't the case.
Nature: Welcome to the CRISPR zoo
- Until now, researchers had the tools to genetically manipulate only a small selection of animals, and the process was often inefficient and laborious. With the arrival of CRISPR, they can alter the genes of a wide range of organisms with relative precision and ease.
Wall Street Journal: Billions Up for Grabs in Patent Clash Over ‘Crispr’ Breakthrough
- Seldom has an intellectual property feud been freighted with so much commercial consequence, scientific implications and uncertainty as the patent battle involving the gene-editing advancement known as Crispr.
Wall Street Journal: USDA Boosts U.S. Soybean-Stockpile Estimate, Trims Global Projection
- U.S. federal forecasters on Wednesday boosted their outlook for domestic soybean stockpiles while trimming estimates for global grain and soybean reserves.
Des Moines Register: Grassley: Dow-DuPont deal may hurt competition
- Federal antitrust regulators said Wednesday they are closely watching the pending merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont to ensure the megadeal will not hurt consumers or stifle innovation.
Wall Street Journal: Companies Go Green on Their Own Steam
- U.S. companies are cutting emissions voluntarily and buying clean energy at the fastest pace ever, as lower renewable energy prices and easier availability of these sources makes these economical options.
Yahoo News: In Houston, Oil Workers May Face the Axe but Employment Still Grows
- Plunging energy prices robbed the Texas economy of an estimated 60,000 jobs last year, as oil and gas companies put the brakes on production and slashed investment, throwing engineers and geologists out of work.
Houston Chronicle: Political uncertainty fuels questions over ethanol
- (Opinion) Longer-term questions around ethanol's future in America's energy sector complicate what is already a complex and litigious fight around how the EPA is managing the renewable fuels program.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack to consult pork industry before settling HSUS suit
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promised today that government lawyers will involve pork industry leaders in discussions that could lead to settlement of a suit by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) that could negate an agreement between two pork producer groups over the use of assessments for promotion and research.
Agri-Pulse: Pew study finds USDA chemical testing of meat inadequate
- Pew Charitable Trusts released a scathing report Tuesday on a USDA system designed to identify environmental contaminants, veterinary drugs, and pesticides in livestock and poultry that produce food for human consumption.
Reuters: Cargill says to cut antibiotic use in cattle by 20 percent
- Cargill Inc., a top U.S. meat processor, is trimming the use of antibiotics in its cattle supply amid concerns among some doctors and consumers about risks to humans from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Chicago Tribune: W. Virginia lawmakers celebrate legalizing raw milk, deny being sickened by it
- Some West Virginia lawmakers and Capitol staffers had a very bad weekend after celebrating the passage of a raw milk bill by drinking some.
Sacramento Bee: Advocates, lawmakers push GMO labeling of food and seeds
- Consumer rights advocates are back at the Capitol to support a bill that would require GMO labeling on New York food.
LA Times: What's wrong with the American diet? More than half our calories come from 'ultra-processed' foods
- Researchers who have analyzed America’s eating habits say they can sum up what’s wrong with our diet in just two words: ultra-processed foods.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: WCI lays out Army Corps funding priorities
- Waterways Council Inc. says it will advocate for improvements to the nation's inland waterway infrastructure in 2016, starting with asking for an increase to what the group's CEO calls "the most disappointing budget to date."
New York Times: 34 Countries Need Food Aid, Report Says
- Thirty-four countries — 27 of them in Africa — do not have enough food for their people because of conflicts, drought and flooding, according to a United Nations report issued Wednesday.
Reuters: Locals Eating Radioactive Food 30 Years After Chernobyl: Greenpeace Tests
- Economic crises convulsing Russia, Ukraine and Belarus mean testing in areas contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has been cut or restricted, Greenpeace said, and people continue to eat and drink foods with dangerously high radiation levels.
Bloomberg: India Cuts Monsanto Modified Cotton-Seed Royalty Fees by 70%
- India cut royalties for genetically-modified cotton seeds, defying Monsanto Co., which has said such a move would cause it to reevaluate its business in the country, the largest grower of the fiber.
Wall Street Journal: Why India’s Chief Economic Adviser Has Beef With Talking About Beef Bans
- India’s chief economic adviser, Arvind Subramanian, on Tuesday declined to answer a question about how bans on cow slaughter affect the country’s rural economy, choosing to avoid an issue that has become a flashpoint for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s conservative government.
Reuters: Amid 'Serious' Situation, China Eyes Soil Pollution Law in 2017
- China aims to pass its first soil pollution law next year hoping to tackle a "serious" problem – contaminated crops entering the food chain – that so far lacks dedicated legislation, a senior Chinese official said on Thursday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Sportsmen's groups rally behind $1.3 billion funding plan
- A panel of conservationists and sportsmen came to Washington, D.C., last week to sell a $1.3 billion funding plan they say will help states bolster wildlife populations and avoid expensive Endangered Species Act listings.
US News & World Report: Leader of Western Governors: Change Endangered Species Plan
- (Opinion) The nation needs to change the way it protects endangered species because the current practice is bogged down in lawsuits and weakened by mistrust, the head of the Western Governors Association said Wednesday.
Fox News: Yellowstone Bison Sent to Slaughter as Park Trims Herd
- Yellowstone National Park started shipping many of its famous wild bison to slaughter Wednesday to drive down the size of the park's herds and respond to concerns by the livestock industry over a disease carried by the animals.
Detroit Free Press: Mich. agencies oppose Great Lakes net-pen fish farming
- A report by the Michigan Depts. of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural development says raising fish in netted enclosures in the lakes would pose risks to the environment, recreation and tourism.
LA Times: California's largest water district, accused of misleading investors, settles with the SEC
- A sprawling Central Valley water district run by some of the state's wealthiest growers papered over its drought-related financial struggles and misled investors, federal regulators said Wednesday.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
NBC News: Clinton and Sanders Make Big Promises on Immigration at Debate
- Fresh off an upset victory in Michigan the night before, Bernie Sanders sparred with Hillary Clinton on immigration at a debate in Miami Wednesday night, ahead of Florida's primary Tuesday.
Palm Beach Post: Here’s why Bernie Sanders mentioned tomato pickers in Immokalee in the Democratic debate
- In yesterday’s Democratic debate, candidate Bernie Sanders mentioned farm workers in Immokalee, a farming community in Collier County, saying he played a role in a fight by tomato pickers for better treatment.
Ocala Star Banner: Judge to decide details of farmworkers' march in Palm Beach
- A farmworkers coalition will try to persuade a federal judge that the wealthy town of Palm Beach is effectively barring the group from holding a protest near the home of a billionaire fast-food executive.
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