Daily Harvest -- 5/8/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Prices for ag commodities continue to fall on world markets, FAO says
- Prices for agricultural commodities on world markets continued to fall in April and abundant inventories should offset any pressure from the slight reduction in global harvests expected this year, according to the biannual Food Outlook report released today by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Reuters: Syngenta rejects $45 billion Monsanto takeover offer
- Agrochemicals firm Syngenta on Friday rejected a $45 billion takeover offer from Monsanto, saying the offer undervalued the Swiss firm and did not fully take into account regulatory risks.
Wall Street Journal: Tyson to Adopt New Standard on Antibiotics Use in Poultry
- Tyson Foods plans to adopt a new standard governing antibiotics use in poultry that is aimed at schools, hospitals and other institutions.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Dick Durbin to Monsanto: Please don't go!
- Sen. Dick Durbin says he wants Monsanto to remain a U.S. company, and not move its headquarters overseas. In a letter to Monsanto Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant, the Illinois Democrat says the company's "continued commitment to America would be good, not only for the country, but also for Monsanto Company's bottom line."
Journal Sentinel: Limits on food stamp choices would cost state millions of dollars
- A GOP plan to limit how food stamps can be used to encourage people to eat more healthy options would cost millions of dollars — a hit to taxpayers that will make it tougher to pass the measure.
Associated Press: Decomposing turkeys and chickens lead to odors, flies
- Millions of dead chickens and turkeys lie in stinking, fly-swarmed piles near dozens of Iowa farms, casualties of a bird flu virus that's swept through the state's large poultry operations in the last month.
Agri-Pulse: EPA sends Renewable Fuel Standard proposals to OMB for review
- (Subscriber only) A spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency says EPA has submitted its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposals to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for interagency review.
The Wichita Eagle: Kansas House swaps renewable energy mandate for non-binding goal
- The Kansas House overwhelmingly passed a bill that sheds the state’s renewable energy mandate in favor of a non-binding goal.
Valley News Live: First New American Oil Refinery in Decades Opens in Dickinson
- The refinery just west of Dickinson will take in 20,000 barrels of crude oil each day and make 7,000 barrels of diesel fuel out of it.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Roberts determined to rewrite child nutrition law
- Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts said he's intent on enacting a new child nutrition law by Sept. 30, giving schools more flexibility in meeting standards for school meals.
Wall Street Journal: Republican Lawmakers Vow Changes to School-Lunch Program
- Republican lawmakers promised to boost oversight of the school-meal program Thursday after the Agriculture Department reported that it made nearly $2.7 billion in improper payments during the 2012-13 school year.
San Francisco Chronicle: Ugly food getting some love in an effort to combat drought
- In the supermarket produce section, carrots are perfect orange cylinders. Apples are unblemished, and asparagus spears are as uniformly thick as a box of children’s markers.
Wall Street Journal: Opinion: Anti-GMO Cleanup Needed on Aisle 4
- Pamela Bailey: Chipotle made headlines last week after the company’s dubious decision to remove genetically modified ingredients from the food at its 1,800 stores. Less noticed was a federal judge’s decision in Vermont that could wreak havoc on the national food supply and allow anti-GMO pseudoscience to be enshrined in law.
The Hill: Health advocates want Obama to call for eating less meat
- They’re defending a controversial report issued last month from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that suggests a vegan diet offers the most potential health benefits, which attracted criticism from the meat industry.
Inforum: McDonald's testing new recipes featuring kale
- McDonald's Corp, which is testing a variety of new food products as part of a major turnaround effort, on Wednesday said nine southern California restaurants are trying out breakfast bowls made with what is becoming a state dietary staple: kale.
Washington Post: Your favorite organic brand is actually owned by a multinational food company
- The legal definition of the word is hammered down in semi-annual meetings, one of which was held last week, that involve a federal advisory board and people working in the organic industry.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Australian almond producers target Asia as drought hits California
- Australian almond producers are boosting output to meet growing Asian demand for the nut used for making milk and eaten as a healthy snack, hoping to steal market share from dominant U.S. farmers struggling because of protracted drought in California.
Wall Street Journal: Lack of Innovation Leaves EU Trailing Rival Economies in U.S. and Asia
- There are many different explanations for the euro crisis: poor fiscal management, loose banking regulation, a loss of competitiveness as cheap money during the boom pushed up wages and house prices. But one major contributor to Europe’s problems that continues to hold back economies today is a lack of innovation.
Reuters: Canada risks being sidelined in Pacific trade deal -USDA head
- Canada risks getting left behind in a 12-nation Pacific trade deal because it has been reluctant to negotiate on opening its markets, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday.
Sun Herald: In N.C., Obama finds unlikely support on trade authority
- The Obama administration has dispatched the president’s top lieutenants at the Departments of Agriculture, Labor and Commerce to tout the benefits of trade deals in North Carolina.
Washington Post: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is about more than trade
- The security effects of free-trade agreements can be significant — indeed, one could argue that this was the most important thing about the North American Free Trade Agreement, the deal that has caused DeLong such existential angst.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
ABC News: With Urban Water Use in California Cut, Agriculture Regulations Scrutinized
- After California failed to reach Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of 25 percent reductions outlined in a historic April 1 executive order, the state's Water Resources Control Board adopted even more stringent water restrictions Tuesday.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Nitrate cited as a 'growing threat' to Minnesota's drinking water
- Farm-related nitrate pollution represents a “growing chemical threat to Minnesota’s drinking water,” according to a new Health Department report that could spark action on clean-water legislation in the final days of the 2015 Legislature.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Real Clear Politics: Hillary Woos Latinos, Vows More Immigration Action
- In swing state Nevada Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton made an overt play for Latino votes with vows to “fight” for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, accompanied by a pledge to “go even further” than President Obama to defer deportations if lawmakers don’t act.
USA Today: Sneak peek: New national immigration museum at Ellis Island
- On May 20, the Ellis Island Museum will officially become the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The name change comes with the completion of the Peopling of America Center, which has been in development for seven years.
Corvallis Gazette-Times: Mid-valley's Shelly Boshart-Davis named National Farm Mom of the Year
- Shelly Boshart-Davis was notified Wednesday that she has been named the National Farm Mom of the Year, but there was a catch. She and her family had to wait until Thursday to tell anyone about it. That’s when Monsanto, the program’s sponsor, was going to break the news nationwide.
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