Daily Harvest -- 11/20/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: FDA makes history in approving genetically engineered salmon
- The Food and Drug Administration has approved a fast-growing, genetically engineered salmon for commercial sale, making it the first biotech animal cleared for human consumption.
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week in Review: Nov. 20, 2015: Salmon approval and behind-the-scenes work
- (Video) Congress was in town for one week in between breaks for Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. In this video, Agri-Pulse's Phil Brasher and Spencer Chase discuss what happened this week and what it will mean for what looks to be a busy December.
Agri-Pulse: FDA refuses to require GMO labeling, as lawmakers near deal on preemption
- The Food and Drug Administration has refused to consider requiring the labeling of biotech foods, affirming its longstanding policy that there's no legal basis for mandating such disclosure on products that are essentially the same as their conventional versions.
Bloomberg: Overhaul of GMO Rules to Be Long, Hard Slog, USDA Says
- Though it began its process in February of this year, it will be 2018 at the earliest before the Department of Agriculture finishes an overhaul of its regulations on genetically modified organisms, according to the department's top biotechnology regulator.
New York Times: After Flu Scare, Plenty of Turkeys for Thanksgiving
- Last summer, after a devastating outbreak of avian flu in the big turkey-producing states of Iowa and Minnesota, the media was full of predictions that prices for the surviving turkeys would soar. Holiday turkeys “will be hard to come by,” one expert told Reuters in June.
Seattle Times: Young, fledgling farmers keep land rooted in agriculture
- The average age of U.S. farmers has been climbing for decades and is now 58. But there is broad anecdotal evidence that young people with an interest in growing healthful, local food are turning to farming.
Go Erie: Erie's Hero BX buys Alabama biodiesel plant
- Hero BX, the Erie-based biodiesel plant that ranks among the nation's largest, looks to expand production in 2016 without changing a thing at its plant on East Lake Road.
Huffington Post: Renewable Energy Offers Speed and Scale Needed for Climate Action
- (Opinion) On an almost daily basis, the scientific community provides new evidence that climate change is accelerating, its impact is deepening, and its associated costs skyrocketing the longer we wait to take action.
High Country News: Soundtable: Who will feel the pinch as energy economies shift?
- In Western states, coal-fired power plants are phasing out and many communities are feeling the pinch. But where will we go from here? As world leaders prepare to meet for climate talks in Paris in December, questions loom over the future of energy economies, a major part of the American West.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: New research shows consumers want transparency from food and ag
- (Audio) New research from the Center for Food Integrity shows that improved transparency increases consumer trust.
Agri-Pulse: John Block on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines - Will they be credible?
- (Audio) USDA and HHS are close to issuing the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines.
Agri-Pulse: Price of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 breaks $50 for the first time
- The American Farm Bureau Federation's annual Thanksgiving dinner survey found this year's holiday feast for 10 will cost on average $50.11 - 70 cents more than last year's - marking the first year to break $50.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
ABC Rural: Crop insurance the talk of Victoria, but is it the best way to manage risk?
- Insurance against Mother Nature: the idea has been dangled in front of Australian farmers for years, without much response.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA allots $350 million for conservation easements
- USDA is making $350 million available to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the nation through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
Popular Science: Neonicotinoid Pesticides Make Bees Worse Pollinators
- Bees live up to their busy reputation. These insects are responsible for pollinating $15 billion worth of crops in the United States. But bee populations have been dwindling for years, and scientists are still trying to figure out why.
Farm Futures: New ag database helps tackle water conservation issues
- A group of ag organizations on Thursday released a new database that will host agricultural best management practices for improved water quality.
The Californian: Standoff continues on federal conservation funding
- The political standoff that has blocked reauthorization of a popular conservation fund in Congress showed no signs of easing during a hearing Wednesday on a Republican proposal to revamp the fund.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Mexican Immigration to U.S. Reverses
- More Mexicans are leaving the U.S. to return home than arriving, ending the largest wave of immigration in modern American history.
Jamaica Observer: US employers looking to recruit Jamaican farm workers
- Employers from the Great Lakes Agricultural Labour Services (GLALS) in Michigan are looking to recruit Jamaicans to work on their cherry and apple farms.
Bloomberg: Monsanto Eyes Opportunity in Argentina Ahead of Election Runoff
- Monsanto Co. executives said they’re hopeful that Sunday’s presidential election vote in Argentina will lead to an overhaul of agricultural policies that have been blamed for a slump in production and exports from one of the biggest producers of corn and soybeans.
Wall Street Journal: Syngenta Sues Grain-Trading Firms in Corn Dispute
- Syngenta AG sued several grain-trading firms over losses some U.S. farmers say they sustained after China rejected shipments of genetically modified corn, escalating a legal battle over the way biotech seeds are introduced to farm fields.
Bazaar: The Duchess of Cambridge could be launching an organic-food line
- The Duchess of Cambridge is currently in the midst of weaning Princess Charlotte, and the process seems to have sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. She's reportedly considering launching a line of organic baby food with her sister, a source tells Vanity Fair.
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