Daily Harvest -- 11/6/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: WOTUS, TPP, and a highway bill
- (Video) This week started with Senate action on the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and ended with the release of the text for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and House passage of a long-term highway bill. Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase break down what all that means for you and what lies ahead for all three issues.
Wall Street Journal: Agricultural Giants Look to Join Forces
- Some of the world’s largest agricultural companies are looking to combine with one another as three years of shriveling crop prices have pressured profits, in what would be the industry’s first big shake-up in at least a decade.
Wired: Biotech’s New Plan: Nobody Say ‘GMO’
- Here are some words guaranteed to draw exasperated sighs among synthetic biologists: Food Babe. Greenpeace. Friends of the Earth. These are megaphone-wielding critics of genetically modified organisms.
Washington Post: Virginia cotton crop hit hard by rains
- The National Agricultural Statistics Service has estimated that 7 percent of the state’s cotton crop in poor condition, 26 percent is rated as fair, and the rest is in good or excellent shape. More than half of the harvest is complete.
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers urge EPA to reconsider RFS proposals
- A bipartisan group of 184 House members wrote to Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy this week urging her to reconsider the Renewable Fuel Standard proposals the agency released earlier this year, saying they would cause a "breach of the ethanol blend wall."
Agri-Pulse: Polls put renewable energy in the lead
- (Audio) It’s all about the polls these days when it comes to presidential candidates. And new polls put renewable energy in the lead.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Prices Retreat on Oversupply
- Oil prices slid hard at the end of Thursday’s session as a bigger-than-expected increase in U.S. oil stockpiles, falling product prices and strong production number out of Russia kept gains in check.
Wall Street Journal: Chinese Company Will Sell Wind Farm Assets in CFIUS Settlement
- Chinese-owned Ralls Corp. said it reached a favorable settlement with the U.S. government Wednesday concerning a secretive national security investment review process, announcing the sale of its disputed assets to a purchaser previously opposed by the U.S.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Eurek Alert: Is junk food to blame?
- Soda, candy, and fast food are often painted as the prime culprits in the national discussion of obesity in the United States. But these foods are not likely to be a leading cause of obesity in the United States according to a new Cornell University Food and Brand Lab study.
Washington Post: Got raw milk? A Md. farm now sells the hotly debated drink — for pets.
- Available since mid-October, it’s among the nation’s most debated and controversial beverages, a tempest in a polyethylene jug: raw milk. Unpasteurized, unhomogenized, unadulterated and straight from the udder.
New York Times: No, Hot Dogs Do Not Contain Human Meat
- But don’t worry: There’s no evidence that hot-dog lovers are unwitting cannibals. It’s more a matter of hygiene in food production. The tiniest particles of hair, nails and skin could show up in these tests.
Yahoo News: Kraft Heinz Secures Tax Breaks From Iowa for Davenport Plant
- Kraft Heinz secured millions in tax breaks from Iowa economic officials on Thursday for a new plant in Davenport, one day after the food company announced it planned to close seven factories in the United States and Canada as part of a downsizing that will eliminate 2,600 jobs.
ABC News: Panera Bread Says It Will Move to Cage-Free Eggs by 2020
- Panera Bread on Thursday became the latest restaurant chain to announce plans to stop using eggs from cage-confined hens.
New York Times: Guinness Is Going Vegan
- Few customers were even aware that the famous inky-black drink contained any fish parts at all. But it is actually quite common for cask beers to be filtered using isinglass, a gelatin-like substance derived from the dried swim bladders of fish.
WKSU: Ohio students are staging a food revolution in their own cafeterias
- College students are mobilizing to change America’s food system, starting with their own cafeterias. A nationwide movement aims to shift university food budgets away from big distributors and towards local, organic suppliers.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: TPP text details tariff cuts, curbs on trade barriers
- (Subscriber only) The release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership text makes public for the first time details of the tariff cuts and restrictions on foreign import barriers that could benefit U.S. food and agricultural exports.
Agri-Pulse: Obama threatens action against South Africa for blocking meat shipments
- President Barack Obama says he'll suspend all duty-free treatment of South African agricultural exports to the U.S., within 60 days unless the country makes some progress toward eliminating barriers to shipments of certain U.S. farm products, including chicken, pork and beef.
Agri-Pulse: White House posts text of Pacific trade pact
- The White House has posted the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, triggering the start of a public review process.
Agri-Pulse: House passes six-year highway bill
- In a landslide vote, the House of Representatives cleared a six-year highway bill Thursday morning, setting up a conference with the Senate over their different pieces of legislation.
Business Insider: World food prices had their biggest monthly jump since July 2012
- World food prices rose in October, spurred by weather-driven concerns about sugar and palm oil supplies, but remained well below their equivalent level a year ago, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
Reuters: Dogs rescued from South Korea meat farm seek new lives in the U.S.
- Animal rights advocates are seeking homes for scores of dogs raised for South Korea's canine meat market but sent to the United States for adoption after their breeder switched to growing rice, the head of a regional Humane Society said on Wednesday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Senate Ag Committee wants to snuff out 'fire borrowing'
- The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee took on the hotly debated topic of "fire borrowing" for the first time during a Thursday hearing, and even went as far as to publicly agree to try to end the practice.
Eurek Alert: Native field-foraging bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides
- The first-ever study on pesticide residues on field-caught bees found that wild (or native) bees are also exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides. This report was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.
Eurek Alert: Vibrating bees tell the state of the hive
- Scientists can continue to investigate the causes of colony collapse disorder with a new device that monitors hive activity without disturbing the bees. It picks up and analyzes vibrations from special types of bee vocalizations and has successfully tracked changes in bee activity from day to night, and seasonally.
Washington Post: Questions, answers about toxic West Coast crabs
- A poisonous substance linked to a massive algae bloom off the West Coast has prompted officials to halt recreational shellfishing from Washington to California and is blamed for sickening dozens of seabirds, seals, whales and other marine life.
Washington Post: Why a Paris climate agreement could actually be very good for the U.S.
- With the 2015 UN climate conference looming less than a month away, there’s a strong economic reason for the United States to support a strong international agreement to curb carbon emissions, says a new report: There are trillions of dollars to be gained at home from other countries’ climate mitigation efforts.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Historic surge in Cuban emigration divides families
- Over the past two years, an estimated 100,000 Cubans have streamed into the U.S., legally and illegally, a marked flight from an island of 11 million. The majority fly to another country in Latin America and then make treacherous journeys by land to the U.S. border with Mexico.
News Advance: Campbell supervisors OK permit for seasonal worker dorms
- The Campbell County Board of Supervisors Thursday approved a request from 7K Farms in Rustburg, Virginia, to allow dormitory-style housing for seasonal workers.
Reuters: Colorado county votes fund college scholarships with marijuana tax
- Students attending college in a southern Colorado county will soon have a chance to tap into the state's lucrative legal marijuana industry after voters approved a tax on local cannabis growing operations to fund scholarships for higher education.
Iowa Soybean Association: ISA Examines Water Quality Efforts in Iowa and the Chesapeake Bay
- There were no gotcha moments. No concrete proof that regulation is the best way to curb nonpoint source water pollution. Nor was there ironclad evidence that voluntary conservation efforts are the only way to do it.
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