Daily Harvest -- 4/17/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Rail companies ordered to report plans for fertilizer deliveries
- (Subscriber only) The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) yesterday ordered the Canadian Pacific and BNFS railway companies to report by Friday their plans for fertilizer delivery in the Midwest.
Politico: Food companies unhappy with FDA feed proposal
- The Food and Drug Administration has proposed placing new sanitation and record-keeping requirements on feed production that could increase compliance costs and paperwork — mandates that many in the industry and on Capitol Hill warn could make it too expensive for businesses to continue recycling.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Vermont Senate approves mandatory GMO labeling bill
- Vermont is a step closer to becoming the first U.S. state to require food labels to say if a product was made with genetically modified crops (GMOs).
Agri-Pulse: Senators press USDA on food safety standards
- Three senators urged USDA today to develop food safety standards that would significantly reduce levels of salmonella and campylobacter in chicken and turkey products.
Agri-Pulse: Schools should think twice before banning chocolate milk: study
- A new study suggests that schools that ban chocolate milk for health reasons may be inviting some unintended - and negative - consequences.
Agri-Pulse: ‘Farm to Cafeteria’ leaders cite wide growth in policy support
- Leaders of the movement promoting the use of locally grown foods by large cafeterias told stakeholders here that there has been “significant institutional support” for programs that bring healthy, locally sourced food, as well as nutrition and agriculture education opportunities, to institutional cafeteria settings.
National Geographic: A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World
- By 2050 we’ll need to feed two billion more people. How can we do that without overwhelming the planet?
New York Times: When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue
- General Mills has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, “join” it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.
USA Today: Rising food prices pinching consumers
- Two months of sharp increases in food prices show grocers are starting to pass along their higher wholesale costs to consumers.
Washington Post: Trait by trait, plant scientists swiftly weed out bad seeds through marker-assisted breeding
- The technology — called marker-assisted or molecular breeding — is far removed from the better-known and more controversial field of genetic engineering, in which a plant or animal can receive genes from a different organism.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: FAS awards $196.4 million to expand export markets
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) awarded $196.4 million in funding to more than 80 U.S. agricultural and trade organizations to help expand commercial export markets for U.S. products.
New York Times: Russia Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit
- Mr. Putin, who just lavished $50 billion on the Sochi Olympics, also must now absorb the costs of integrating Crimea, which economists and other experts say has its own sickly economy and expensive infrastructure needs.
Oryza: U.S. Allows Japan to Exclude Rice in Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
- The U.S. has allowed Japan to exclude rice in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, but has asked the Japanese government to increase imports of U.S. rice, according to local sources.
Voice of America: With an Eye on TPP, Garment Companies Flock to Vietnam
- As China and its workers get wealthier, global manufacturers are looking south for less expensive places to do business. But Cambodia faces labor strikes. The Thai government suffers endless protests. Burma, also known as Myanmar, needs infrastructure updates. As a result, many companies are setting their sights on Vietnam.
Reuters: China rejections of GMO U.S. corn cost up to $2.9 bln –group
- China's rejections of a banned variety of genetically modified U.S. corn have cost the U.S. agriculture industry up to $2.9 billion, a grain group said on Wednesday in the first estimate on losses from the trade disruptions.
Bloomberg: Brazil Sugar King Moves Closer to Gaining Railway Control
- The tycoon who built the world’s biggest sugar-cane operation by buying mills in Brazil is about to dominate rail freight transport in the country.
Reuters: Influence of banks, hedge funds on commodities lowest since 2008
- United Nations economists who previously called for government intervention to tame volatile swings in commodity prices say banks and hedge funds have since reduced their influence to the lowest level since 2008.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Bees are important part of GMO discussion
- (Audio) Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., attended the opening of the Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center this week. She said bees are an important part of the discussion about genetically modified crops.
Reuters: U.S. Energy Dept plans $4 billion in loan aid for renewable energy
- The U.S. Energy Department on Wednesday unveiled a plan for up to $4 billion in loan aid for renewable energy companies to help rejuvenate a program that faced harsh political attacks over past failures of federally subsidized projects.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Roll Call: Obama Calls Cantor After Day of Immigration Sparring
- President Barack Obama called House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday to implore House Republicans to hold a vote on the Senate-passed immigration overhaul, prompting Cantor to say the president hasn’t learned how to work with Congress.
Fox News: Feds accused of leaving trail of wreckage after Nevada ranch standoff
- The federal agency that backed down over the weekend in a tense standoff with a Nevada rancher is being accused of leaving a trail of wreckage behind.
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