Daily Harvest -- 7/15/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Stallman won't seek reelection after 16 years as Farm Bureau president
- American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman announced today that he will not seek reelection after 16 years at the helm of the nation's largest farm organization.
Agri-Pulse: Monsanto will assemble panel to review IARC's glyphosate analysis
- Monsanto announced Tuesday that it will assemble a panel of scientists to review the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) analysis that led to the classification of the herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans.
Agri-Pulse: Agricultural interests pleased with labeling bill progress in House
- (Audio) Agricultural interests that support a nationwide standard for food labeling are pleased with progress on the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling bill in the House.
Associated Press: Fewer passenger, freight rail delays due to drilling decline
- Delays in Amtrak service and agricultural product shipping have eased across the Upper Midwest in part because weak oil prices have prompted a drilling slowdown in North Dakota, officials say.
The Hill: Senate subcommittee advances $20.5B bill funding Agriculture, FDA
- A Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would fund the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the next fiscal year.
The Hill: Durbin calls out agriculture giant
- Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) urged the agriculture giant Monsanto to scrap any plans to move its headquarters overseas for tax purposes.
Washington Post: In defense of corn, the world’s most important food crop
- But let’s separate corn, the plant, from corn, the cog in the industrial machine. There’s a strong case (which I’m going to make) that field corn, used as a grain, is the single most important food crop on the planet.
New York Times: Another ‘Too Big to Fail’ System in G.M.O.s
- Now, there is something vastly riskier facing us, with risks that entail the survival of the global ecosystem — not the financial system. This time, the fight is against the current promotion of genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.s.
Agri-Pulse: Congress wrestles with renewing expired energy industry tax breaks
- (Subscriber only) When you're in first place and nearing the finish line, don't let up on the gas. That's the message from renewable energy interests as Congress dithers over renewing a “tax extenders” package of more than 50 tax incentives that expired last year - tax breaks that have helped renewable energy and other industries outpace all the competition.
Washington Examiner: Federal court slams ethanol and EPA in one ruling
- A federal appeals court slammed the ethanol industry on Tuesday for suing the Environmental Protection Agency, and then slammed the EPA's defense even though the agency won the case.
Birmingham Business Journal: Alabama Power seeking increased renewable energy generation, including solar
- Alabama Power Co. said it has requested approval for up to 500 megawatts of increased generation through renewable resources, including solar options.
Wall Street Journal: Walter Energy Plans to File for Bankruptcy
- Walter Energy Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection this week after agreeing on a fast-track restructuring process that would hand ownership of the coal miner to senior creditors, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wired: Facebook Wants More Green Energy. But Red Tape Is in the Way
- Facebook’s new data center will run entirely on wind power. This means three of the five massive computing facilities that will drive the company’s worldwide social network in the years to come will run use only renewable energy. But Peter Freed, who helps oversee renewable energy efforts at Facebook, isn’t entirely pleased. Buying clean energy, he says, remains far too difficult.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling bill expected on House floor soon
- A bill that would bar states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods could be on the House floor as soon as next week. The Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act (HR 1599) was approved Tuesday by the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday on a voice vote during a 15-minute meeting.
Agri-Pulse: GMO labeling bill sails through House panel
- The House Agriculture Committee swiftly approved a bill that would bar states from requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Forbes: How The Tools Of Venture Capital Are Revolutionizing Food
- What we eat is changing dramatically. Grocery stores devote aisles to organic merchandise, farmers’ markets spill into the streets and restaurants list the producers that supply their menus. People have become suspicious of Big Food, a catchall term that has come to mean anything processed or fake.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Chinese Seek Brazil’s Chicken Feet Amid U.S. Bird Flu Ban
- China’s ban on poultry imports from the U.S., where flocks have been ravaged by bird flu, could give more Brazilian farmers a foot in the door of the biggest import market, literally.
Wall Street Journal: Importers of Greek Goods Fear Declining Supplies
- Trade between the U.S. and Greece is relatively small, amounting to only a little more than $1.8 billion last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The main Greek exports to the U.S. are agriculture products and food, and many of those goods go to small importers that specialize in distributing Greek foods.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Daily Caller: Study: Organic Farming MORE CO2-Intensive Than Conventional Farms
- Organic farming is often sold as more environmentally friendly, but a new study out of Oregon found that large-scale organic farms are more greenhouse-gas intensive per acre than conventional farms.
Bloomberg: Billionaire Pritzker Brothers Buy Starbucks Coffee-Sleeve Maker
- Pritzker Group, the investment firm backed by billionaire brothers Anthony and Jay Pritzker, scions of Chicago’s richest family, bought LBP Manufacturing Inc., a maker of sustainable packaging such as Starbucks Corp.’s coffee sleeves.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Times-Picayne: Mushroom grower pleads guilty to 'harboring' illegal aliens at Independence farm: U.S. Attorney
- A Pennsylvania company pleaded guilty Tuesday (July 14) to "harboring'' illegal aliens at a farm in Independence, the U.S. Attorney's office in New Orleans said. M.D. Basciani and Sons Inc., pleaded guilty to one count in a bill of information accusing the company of hiring the illegals at the Red Hill Mushroom Farm.
Ag Week: Welte: Farm workers hard to find
- Since the "new oil boom," North Dakota's hourly wages have garnered national attention. Workers flocked to the Oil Patch for jobs starting at $30 per hour or more.
Associated Press: California bill would allow immigration permits for farmworkers
- California legislators are considering a measure to allow farmworkers living in the country illegally to get work permits.
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