Daily Harvest -- 10/7/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Ag gets top billing as Obama launches push for trade pact
- President Obama launched his push for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership today with a one-hour, closed-door meeting with leaders of agriculture and other business sectors that will be critical to the coming congressional debate.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack wants everyone to know TPP is good for ag
- (Audio) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wants members of congress to know how TPP benefits farmers and ranchers in their individual states.
New York Times: Researcher Finds Way to Fight Cheatgrass, a Western Scourge
- The sins of cheatgrass are many. Its tenacious seeds lodge in the eyes and gums of livestock (not to mention the ears of pets and the socks of hikers). Even a moderate infestation in a wheat field can reduce yields by up to half.
Agri-Pulse: Senators back biodiesel industry in push for more renewables in RFS
- (Subscriber only) The U.S. EPA will finalize its controversial Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements for biomass-based diesel by Nov. 30.
Energy Voice: Shell’s CEO says industry must create ‘brave new world’ of energy
- Shell’s Ben van Beurden referred to the sector’s current signposts and explained how they relate to transitioning to a low-carbon future.
USA Today: Jim Inhofe: Obama's ozone overreach
- (Opinion) Not only does the new ozone standard impose very real, draconian economic costs on states across the country, but it is veiled in the false promise of environmental benefits.
Wall Street Journal: Global Oil to Cut Spending by $130 Billion, OPEC Says
- Global oil investments are set to be slashed by $130 billion this year, crimping supplies and ultimately boosting prices, said the chief of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at a conference in London Tuesday.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Quartz: Meat wins: Sustainability won’t factor into the US government’s new dietary guidelines
- The Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments have just announced that sustainability won’t be considered as a factor when it issues its influential dietary guidelines—known as DGAs—later this year, over-ruling recommendations of an expert advisory panel.
Washington Post: For decades, the government steered millions away from whole milk. Was that wrong?
- U.S. dietary guidelines have long recommended that people steer clear of whole milk, and for decades, Americans have obeyed. Whole milk sales shrunk. It was banned from school lunch programs. Purchases of low-fat dairy climbed.
Reuters: Think Europe's halting GMOs? It could be heading for more
- The large number of European countries opposing GMO cultivation may have given the impression the bloc is putting a brake on GMOs but with new crops queuing for approval and key countries leaving the door open, output is more likely to grow than wane.
Science Daily News: Rebates a cost-effective way to boost healthy eating among low-income people, study finds
- Providing low-income households that receive federal food assistance benefits with financial incentives to buy fruits and vegetables would encourage them to purchase and consume more healthy food, and slightly increase their longevity, a new study suggests.
Wall Street Journal: Alternatives to Peanut Butter Are Taking Over Lunch
- Now there are rows of spreads, such as almond or cashew butters with seeds like chia touting their antioxidant qualities. They sit alongside cookie butter, Nutella or decadent treats with flavors such as white chocolate wonderful and dark chocolate dreams. The time-honored peanut butter and jelly seems downright boring.
CNBC: General Mills recalls 1.8M Cheerios boxes for allergens
- General Mills on Monday issued a recall of some Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal because some that were labeled as gluten-free contained wheat.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: T-TIP talks scheduled to resume in Miami Oct. 19
- Just as U.S. trade negotiators celebrate the completion of one major trade agreement across the Pacific Ocean, talks are scheduled to continue with trading partners across the Atlantic.
Wall Street Journal: TPP Deal Expected to Shake Up Japan’s Agriculture Sector
- The trade agreement will provide easier access to Japan for products such as California rice, Canadian pork, Australian beef and New Zealand butter. In the face of greater competition, many small Japanese farmers could be taken over by large enterprise operators.
Washington Post: Romania draft law: Supermarkets must sell more local produce
- Romanian senators have adopted draft legislation obliging supermarkets to sell more meat and produce from the country in a bid to support local farmers.
World Grain News: Multiple entities reportedly interested in Glencore’s agriculture unit
- Multiple media outlets are reporting that Glencore has several entities interested in buying a stake in Glencore’s agriculture unit. Glencore is selling a minority stake in its agriculture unit to help reduce its current debt.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Albuquerque Journal: Land and Water Conservation Fund expires; fight looms in Congress
- New Mexico’s Democratic lawmakers are calling for renewal of the 50-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund after its expiration last week, while the delegation’s lone Republican says the program needs to be revamped.
Washington Post: MoCo becomes first major locality to ban cosmetic pesticides from lawns
- Montgomery County became the country’s first major locality Tuesday to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides on private lawns, concluding that the time-honored right of suburbanites to maintain pristine green, weed-free yards was superseded by a body of scientific evidence linking the widely-used products to cancer.
Scientific American: Endangered Hawaiian Bees and Other Species Proposed for Protection
- Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed to protect seven rare bee species and 42 other disappearing plant and animal species native to the Hawaiian Islands under the Endangered Species Act.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
LA Times: Farmworkers find a bumper crop of squalor in Coachella Valley trailer parks
- This part of the Coachella Valley, with its abundant agricultural fields, is dotted with unpermitted mobile home parks, housing thousands of farmworkers in dozens of tiny neighborhoods that were never designed to be permanent.
NPR Central California: Even In Rural Fresno County, STDs Remain A Concern
- Lack of access to health care, six-day work weeks, and tough living conditions makes it hard for many farmworkers to visit a doctor. Experts say when they do visit a clinic it’s for emergency, not to get tested.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Rules Enforced, Lives Saved
- Washington state’s approach to workplace safety illustrates how death rates drop sharply when oversight covers every farm, no matter how small.
Capitol Press: EPA official deflects criticism over new pesticide rules
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official in charge of crafting the new pesticide regulations unveiled Sept. 28 deflected criticism over the agency's perceived cozy relations with the advocacy groups that were pushing for the rules.
Wall Street Journal: In This Texas Town, Chickens Ruffle Feathers
- Why did the chicken cross the road? Here in this old Texas frontier town, the answer to the riddle is clear: Because it has a legal right. A flock of feral chickens has been protected by law in Bastrop since 2009, given free rein to roam on a stretch of a paved road named Farm Street.
Washington Post: JetBlue plants a seed with farm-to-tray-table concept
- JetBlue Airways is trying to bring a little bit of country to the city — opening its own “farm” at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Des Moines Register: DuPont CEO's sudden exit sparks break-up debate
- The abrupt departure of the top executive at chemical and seed giant DuPont has reignited the debate over whether the conglomerate should be broken apart, a move that could throw into question the future of one of Iowa's largest employers, DuPont Pioneer.
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