Daily Harvest -- 7/10/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Grassley 'disappointed' in denial of bird flu disaster declaration for Iowa
- Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he's disappointed that the Obama administration has turned down Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's request for a presidential disaster declaration to help the state's poultry producers recover from losses due to highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Agri-Pulse: GROWMARK keeping an eye on funding bills
- (Audio) The House Appropriations Committee this week approved a $144 billion dollar 2016 fiscal year agricultural appropriations bill, which is about $3.8 billion less than the 2015 spending level.
The Hill: GOP defeats amendment on horse slaughter
- Republicans narrowly blocked an amendment to a spending bill Wednesday that would have defunded inspections of horse slaughter facilities.
The Hill: Democrats accuse GOP of siding with tobacco industry over children’s health
- Republicans stood fast Wednesday to vote down a Democratic amendment to strip out language exempting tobacco products, like e-cigarettes, which are already on the market, from a retroactive review by the federal government.
LA Times: Is farming a public service?
- (Opinion) A bill recently introduced in Congress, the Young Farmer Success Act, would make farmers eligible for federally subsidized student loan forgiveness — just as teachers and nurses are now — on the grounds that agriculture is a public service. But is it?
New York Times: Free the Hens, Costco!: Bill Maher
- (Opinion) I like Costco. And I’ve also been impressed by Costco’s support for animal protection.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Flex Fuel infrastructure key to U.S. energy independence
- Since its inception, the ethanol industry has had a profoundly positive impact on the U.S. economy - and on rural America.
Des Moines Register: Incentives spur solar energy growth in Iowa
- In the small town of Pilot Grove, a metal fabrication company will invest $1 million to build a solar array that's expected to cover all the business' energy needs.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA extends compliance date for menu labeling rule
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving restaurants and other retail food establishments an extra year to comply with the new menu labeling rules the agency finalized last December.
Civil Eats: Dinner by the Numbers: How Do Meal Kits Stack Up?
- A horde of new, sleek, venture capital-funded services has arrived on the market peddling kits made of raw ingredients—portioned and sometimes prepped—that can be assembled quickly to make a meal “from scratch.”
Wall Street Journal: PepsiCo’s Outlook for Year Brightens
- PepsiCo Inc. raised its earnings forecast for this year after reporting better-than-expected revenue and profit, with cost cuts offsetting sluggish volumes.
FAO News: World crop prospects positive in 2015; but food insecurity hotspots pose concern
- Favorable worldwide conditions for cereal crops will lead to better-than-expected production this growing season, but there are concerns over a sharp shortfall in maize grown in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as poor production in other food insecure hotspot areas.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: United States and Switzerland establish organic trade agreement
- The United States and Switzerland announced today that beginning July 10, organic products certified in the United States or Switzerland may be sold as organic in either country.
Epoch Times: Canada to Allow Unapproved GM Crop Contamination in Imports
- After three years of discussions, Canada is close to finalizing its new policy on genetically modified (GM) foods that would allow very low levels of contaminated crops into the country without a risk assessment by Health Canada.
Wall Street Journal: How the Pacific Trade Pact Could Feed a Hungry Planet
- (Opinion) Negotiations for the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement – that are due to be completed soon – offer an unprecedented opportunity to transform ocean and fisheries conservation.
The Hill: British American Tobacco is ending operations in Chile
- The world’s No. 2 cigarette maker, which produces brands like Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall, objects to changes in Chile’s tobacco law that include banning additives like menthol, and adding larger warnings to cigarette packs about the risks of smoking.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: House drought bill emerges from committee markup
- A House bill aimed at helping California farmers cope with a four-year drought was favorably reported out of the Natural Resources Committee Thursday.
Agri-Pulse: House Republicans take aim at McCarthy, EPA regulations
- EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was on the hot seat on Capitol Hill Thursday as Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology peppered her with questions on her agency's regulatory record.
Agri-Pulse: Confederate flag dispute slows GOP attack on regulations
- A dispute over the Confederate flag brought a halt to House debate on a funding bill that's important to Republican efforts to curb a host of environmental regulations.
New York Times: Climate Change Is Shrinking Where Bumblebees Range, Research Finds
- Climate change has narrowed the range where bumblebees are found in North America and Europe in recent decades, according to a study published Thursday.
Associated Press: Utah hunter who killed gray wolf won't be charged
- A Utah hunter who killed the first gray wolf seen near the Grand Canyon in seven decades won't face criminal charges because he thought he was shooting a coyote, U.S. Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday.
Reuters: U.S. Wildlife Service baffled by exodus of birds from Florida isle
- Tens of thousands of nesting birds vanished this spring from a Florida island refuge where they have come to breed for decades, leaving behind their unhatched eggs and mystifying wildlife officers trying to figure out why they disappeared.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Latin Post: California Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Bill Providing Undocumented Farm Workers a Work Permit
- California Assembly Bill 20, which would establish a work permit program that provides a safe and legal way for undocumented immigrants to work lawfully on California farms, was passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee in a 5-to-0 vote on Tuesday.
LA Times: Obama program shielding 5 million from deportation headed back to court
- State and federal lawyers on opposite sides of the immigration divide are set to square off Friday in a federal appeals court over the merits of President Obama's executive action seeking to shield up to 5 million people from deportation.
ABC News: Colleges in Cuba, US Build Ties as Diplomatic Tensions Ease
- Only months after the U.S. eased travel restrictions, several colleges have struck agreements with Cuban schools to create exchange programs for students and faculty.
Nature: Smithsonian sets up frozen-plant repository
- The Smithsonian Institution has embarked on an effort to preserve biodiversity by assembling a large collection of frozen vegetables.
UC Food Observer: The Gleaners: A Conversation with Food Forward
- Food Forward is a Southern-California non-profit organization that aims to “harvest food, fight hunger and build community” by "rescuing" fresh local produce.
Eater: Someone Just Paid $8,200 for a Bunch of Grapes
- Japan has a penchant for pricey fruit — many are willing to pay as much as $6 for a single banana — but these grapes take the cake.
Reuters: Tom Selleck to settle California water-raiding complaint
- Actor Tom Selleck has tentatively settled a Southern California court complaint that accused him of illegally tapping the public hydrant of a nearby water district to supply his ranch in the midst of a crippling drought.
New York Times: ‘A Walk on the Wild (Edibles) Side’
- (Opinion) We parked our car at a corner in West Oakland and found sow thistle, mallow, dock, and sourgrass. Most of it was good enough to eat on the spot; some of it would’ve benefited from cooking.
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