Daily Harvest -- 7/9/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Backers of mandatory GMO label laws take aim at glyphosate
- Proponents of mandatory labeling of food products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) rolled out a trio of academics Wednesday in a bid to raise public awareness of the public health and environmental costs of herbicides used in the production of genetically engineered crops.
Agri-Pulse: Senate committee hears about avian flu
- (Audio) The Senate Agriculture Committee heard testimony on the impact of highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks this year.
Wall Street Journal: Arizona Railroad Approaches a Potential Final Chapter
- Local officials seek to persuade bankruptcy judge to keep lenders from foreclosing on Apache Railway, the region’s economic lifeline.
Agri-Pulse: House Ag Committee weighs rural benefits of lifting crude oil export ban
- The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony Wednesday that lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports would benefit rural areas, including creating more jobs and potentially lowering gasoline prices.
Times of Oman: Oman to build giant solar thermal plant to extract oil
- Plans to build a 1,021-megawatt solar thermal facility – one of the world’s largest solar plants – to extract heavy and viscous oil from Amal oilfield in South Oman was jointly announced Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal: Shell Places Big Bet on Arctic Oil
- Royal Dutch Shell PLC is on the verge of drilling in the Arctic Ocean, a risky venture keeping almost every competitor away, but it is already running into obstacles.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reuters: World food prices fall further in June: U.N. FAO
- The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 165.1 points in June: the lowest since September 2009.
New York Times: Why Is the Federal Government Afraid of Fat?
- (Opinion) This fear of fat has had far-reaching impacts, from consumer preferences to the billions of dollars spent by the military, government-run hospitals and school districts on food.
Associated Press: Chalupas on demand: Taco Bell starting delivery service
- The restaurant chain is starting delivery service on Wednesday in more than 90 cities and 200 restaurants around Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas.
Forbes: Food Brands Must Embrace New Value Equation To Win With Millennials
- (Opinion) Millennials and those with the millennial mindset value hyper connectivity, creation and curation, and inclusivity and fairness. Those values are impacting the way they interact with the world and are linked to the brands they engage with most.
U.S. News & World Report: FDA's Food Safety Challenge Seeks Speedier Salmonella Detection
- Researchers from universities and corporations presented their products at the Food and Drug Administration's first Food Safety Challenge this week, a competition in which an innovative solution to food safety problems could be awarded up to $400,000.
Texas Tribune: Miller Defends Deep Fryers in Agriculture Address
- Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller defended his new nutrition policy Wednesday, praising his department's decision to "abolish outdated and unneeded state mandates" and allow schools to install deep fryers and soda machines if they wish.
Ensia: Global food security is a moral imperative: Madeleine Albright
- (Opinion) I believe that governments have a responsibility to feed those who cannot feed themselves. But we must better understand what tools governments can use to achieve that objective.
Washington Post: Food politics hits India's most malnourished children
- Clutching battered metal plates, the children waited patiently in a remote central Indian village for the two small flat pieces of bread and scoop of boiled potato curry that would be their only full meal that day.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Panel acts to delay beef imports, protect food companies
- House appropriators have agreed to block imports of fresh beef from regions of Brazil and Argentina until the Agriculture Department does further study on the potential risk from foot and mouth disease.
Agri-Pulse: Food-aid talks raise concerns on Hill
- Leaders of the House Agriculture Committee are raising concerns with the Obama administration about its effort to win support from the shipping industry for converting more food aid to cash assistance.
Agri-Pulse: African Growth and Opportunity Act: Advancing the Role of Agriculture in US-Africa Trade
- (Opinion) The debate over fast-track authority, more formally known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), has dominated the news headlines and is likely to remain at the forefront of policy discussions.
Reuters: European Parliament backs compromise in step towards U.S. trade deal
- European lawmakers on Wednesday backed a compromise plan designed to spur negotiations on a trade pact between the European Union and the United States and overcome deep divisions within the European Parliament.
Wall Street Journal: Butter on the Table in Trade Talks as Japan Faces Shortage
- In one of the world’s great food capitals, where almost every conceivable cuisine is available, a shortage of butter over the past two years has left supermarket shelves bare, while many bakers have been forced to resort to margarine.
ABC News: Thai Farmers Ask Spirits for Rain to End Crippling Drought
- Without rains, the current water supply for daily consumption in Bangkok and its nearby provinces will last only 30 days. For rice farmers, it may already be too late.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Obama's emissions reduction goal may require congressional action, experts say
- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard conflicting expert testimony Wednesday on whether President Barack Obama's promise to cut U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could be achieved without additional legislation.
Des Moines Register: We've made water quality a priority: Tom Vilsack
- As governor, I made water quality a state priority for the first time. We invested unprecedented resources. I successfully put Iowa's first comprehensive water monitoring program in place.
Wall Street Journal: California Pot Growers Raid Waterways
- California’s marijuana industry is taking a toll on the state’s scarce water resources and the environment, with growers sometimes illegally siphoning off entire streams to produce the nation’s largest supply of pot.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
New York Times: After Killing Tied to Deported Felon, San Francisco Mayor Mulls Policy Shift
- With San Francisco’s immigration policies drawing criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, Mayor Edward M. Lee said Wednesday that he would speak to federal officials about how the city could participate in a new Obama administration deportation program.
Reuters: California Hispanic population outstrips white: Census
- Census population estimates released late last month showed that as of July 1, 2014, California was home to roughly 14.99 million Hispanic residents compared to 14.92 million non-Hispanic white residents.
LA Times: Some common sense on deporting criminals
- (Opinion) In the contentious debate over immigration reform, there is one point on which most Americans agree: Individuals with serious criminal records should be deported.
Bloomberg: Obama Agenda Faces Tougher Room in Bid to Loosen Immigration
- The Obama administration has a chance to build on health care and gay marriage victories won at the Supreme Court when it urges an appeals court to let 5 million undocumented immigrants stay in America. But it’s a slim chance.
WFAA: Indoor farming: Agriculture's next revolution?
- There's a growing agriculture trend in North Texas centered on urban farming. An offshoot of that concept exists away from sunlight, indoors.
Forbes: Fanaticism, Pragmatism And Organic Agriculture
- (Opinion) Organic standards are wholly arbitrary, owing more to the dogma of an atavistic religious cult than to science or common sense. And whatever their merit, the standards are not being enforced very effectively.
Wall Street Journal: Paper Makers’ Promotional Campaign Takes Page From Farmers
- Manufacturers of building products, paper and cardboard are trying to recast consumers’ negative perceptions about their industries by tapping into to a federal marketing program used primarily by producers of agricultural commodities.
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