Daily Harvest -- 5/17/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for May 17, 2016
- (Audio) Major study on biotech crops set for release; Stabenow sends proposal on GMO labeling bill to Roberts; House panel takes up bill on USDA child nutrition rules; Huelskamp dissertation attacked subsidies, ag panels; OECD report says big changes are needed for food aid; USDA forecasts record milk production next year; and pet illnesses tied to jerky treats on the decline.
Agri-Pulse: USDA announces $130M in ag research funding
- USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced Monday $130 million in funding will be made available for education, research and Cooperative Extension projects that seek to improve plant and animal production systems.
Agri-Pulse: ARA asks Congress to uphold law on PSM
- (Audio) In a recent letter, the Agricultural Retailers Association is asking members of Congress to stop the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from redefining some retailer exemptions without proper rule making.
Agri-Pulse: George McGovern: My Turn
- (Opinion) Every election year, former Senator George McGovern (SD), the 1972 Democratic Nominee for President, seems to find his way back into the news, and this one, 2016, more than most.
Reuters: USDA to Join U.S. Panel Reviewing ChemChina's Syngenta Deal: Sources
- USDA has agreed to join the panel that is reviewing state-owned ChemChina's planned $43 billion acquisition of Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta AG, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Des Moines Register: In ethanol country, GOP seems OK with King-Cruz ties
- U.S. Rep. Steve King may have made some Republicans in ethanol country unhappy by backing Ted Cruz for president, but it looks doubtful it will cost him his party's nomination for re-election.
Wall Street Journal: D.C. Circuit Shifts Plans for Obama Climate Cases
- A federal appeals court decision on the legality of Obama administration rules limiting carbon emissions from power plants likely won’t come until after the November election, thanks to a notable scheduling change announced Monday.
Daily Mail: Justices won't touch $236M verdict in Exxon Mobil pollution
- The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will not hear Exxon Mobil's appeal of a $236 million judgment for its use of a gasoline additive that contaminated groundwater in New Hampshire.
The News Tribune: Companies propose deep-water wind farms off Hawaii shores
- Massive wind turbines could end up floating in deep ocean waters off Hawaii's shores under proposals to bring more renewable energy to the islands.
The Guardian: Shift in Alberta wildfire prompts evacuation of oil sands work camps
- A shift in the wildfire burning around the Canadian oil sands hub of Fort McMurray has put about 4,000 people in work camps on evacuation alert, including hundreds who were given mandatory orders to leave the area.
USA Today: Oil firm SandRidge Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
- Oklahoma City-based oil and gas firm SandRidge Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday after securing support for its debt-cutting plan from many of its creditors.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Glyphosate unlikely to pose cancer risk through diet, WHO says
- (Subscriber only) "Glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet," a World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization panel has concluded.
EurekAlert: Healthy eating gets no boost after corner store interventions, Drexel study finds
- A lack of access to healthy food is often blamed for poor eating habits in low-income urban areas, but a recent Drexel University study found that simply adding healthier stock to a local convenience store may not actually have any effect.
Reuters: 'McDonald's Diet' Brand Ambassador Dropped From Schools: Company
- The former Iowa science teacher and McDonald's Corp "brand ambassador," who preached the virtues of walking and near-daily french fries in presentations to youth, is no longer visiting U.S. schools, the fast-food chain said on Friday.
Wall Street Journal: Sugar Industry Headed for a Shake-Up
- Sweeping changes to the trade barriers governing the sugar industry are redrawing the map for one of the commodity world’s most protected markets.
Denver Post: Starbucks to raise $500 million in sustainability bond
- Starbucks Corp. said it plans to raise $500 million to pay for so-called sustainable projects, including support programs for farmers in coffee-growing regions.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
New York Times: Cloak of Secrecy Fuels Anxiety Over Trans-Atlantic Trade Talks
- Opposition to a sweeping trade deal between the United States and the European Union has gathered strength in Europe in recent weeks, but with a twist: The latest objections have less to do with what is known to be at stake, and more about what is unknown.
Wall Street Journal: El Niño-Driven Food Price Rise Could Cramp Spending in Asia
- Extreme dry weather and hot temperatures are pushing up food prices and shriveling the contents of shopping baskets across Asia, raising fears that growth could suffer in the region.
Associated Press: Chilean Fishermen Struggle Amid Toxic Algal Bloom
- Simply referred to as the "quiet catastrophe" by local fishermen, Chile's worst-ever red tide of toxic algae has prompted the government to declare an emergency zone along the southern coast that encompasses these islands known for some of the region's best bird watching.
Reuters: Venezuela Says Better Oil Loans Deal Reached With China
- Venezuela has reached a deal with its main financier China to improve the conditions of an oil-for-loans deal, giving the OPEC member's crisis-hit economy "oxygen" ahead of heavy debt payments, its top economic official said on Monday.
New York Times: Venezuela’s Downward Spiral
- (Opinion) Shortages of food and basic goods are likely to worsen as Venezuela’s economy continues to contract this year. Political prisoners, meanwhile, have languished behind bars for years, victims of a corrupt and broken justice system.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
MPR News: Trouble in the water: Can Minnesota stop polluting its lakes, rivers?
- The massive fish kill on the Whitewater was the latest sign of serious, widespread trouble in Minnesota's waters. Some 40 percent of the lakes and streams are polluted, with much of that centered in southern Minnesota's farm country.
Science Daily: Farms a major source of air pollution, study finds
- Emissions from farms outweigh all other human sources of fine-particulate air pollution in much of the United States, Europe, Russia and China, according to new research.
Des Moines Register: Iowa's water quality lawsuit explained
- (Video) Learn the basics about the lawsuit Des Moines Water Works filed against three Iowa counties because of high nitrate levels in the Raccoon River.
ABC News: US Wildfire-Fighters Making Plans for 2016 Season
- The nation's primary wildfire-fighters are getting ready for the 2016 season, which is expected to be worse than average in Hawaii, Alaska and the Southwest.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
ABC News: Top Cuba Diplomat: Obama Trip Positive, Created Momentum
- President Barack Obama's trip to Cuba advanced the normalization of relations between the Cold War foes and created momentum for more cooperation on agriculture, medicine and law enforcement, Cuba's top diplomat on U.S. affairs said Monday.
Fresno Bee: 15 farmworkers claim they’re owed thousands by labor contractor, farmer
- A farm labor contractor from Madera and a Selma farmer are being sued by California Rural Legal Assistance, which claims they failed to pay 15 farmworkers for work they did.
Yakima Herald: Settlement agreement clears way for farm workers to receive full damages in Lower Valley lawsuit
- Farm workers on Friday reached a settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit against Lower Valley orchard owners, so all that remains now is to distribute the $1 million in damages among members of the class.
Wall Street Journal: Software Team Wins Supply Chain Sustainability Award
- Trace Register, whose customers include Whole Foods Market Inc. and Wegmans Food Markets, and the human rights advisory firm Sustainability Incubator won the award for jointly developing a service that helps seafood companies vet their suppliers to determine potential risks for slave labor.
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