Daily Harvest -- 12/20/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Exports threatened by delay on farm bill, USDA says
- Record-breaking U.S. agricultural exports are being threatened by Congress's failure to pass a new farm bill, according to a top USDA official.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol industry defends RFS with new report
- The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released a report today defending the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which the Obama administration recently proposed to lower from 18.15 billion gallons specified for 2014 to 15.21 billion gallons.
Grand Forks Herald: Payment caps, link of crop insurance subsidies to conservation in jeopardy, senators say
- As negotiations over a new farm bill continue on Capitol Hill, South Dakota’s senators are worried about the fate of reforms they fought to include in the Senate version of the bill.
Reuters: U.S. farm bill writers eye $8 billion in food stamp cuts –senator
- The new U.S. farm bill is likely to cut the food stamp program by $8 billion over a decade, a key Democratic senator said on Thursday, an amount that is a fraction of the cuts demanded by many Republican lawmakers.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: FDA plans changes to proposed rules under food safety law
- FDA today said it is planning major changes to its proposed produce and preventative-control food safety rules and will seek additional public comment once they are completed.
Agri-Pulse: USDA chicken inspection system faulted by Consumer Reports
- Consumer Reports says independent tests on more than 300 raw chicken breasts purchased at stores around the country found “potentially harmful bacteria'' in almost every sample, including organic brands.
Los Angeles Times: What an 'organic' food label should mean
- What a lot of concerned consumers don't realize is that there is already a way to ensure that the foods they purchase are free of GMOs, write Dan Glickman and Kathleen Merrigan in this opinion piece.
Bloomberg: Eggheads Have Started an Egg War
- The goal is to "surpass" the egg with products that are free of cholesterol, longer-lasting, more ecologically sustainable, more humane and cheaper than the chicken-based original. In other words: calling all vegans, cholesterol counters and thrifty shoppers.
Wall Street Journal: Bacteria in Your Chicken Breasts: It’s There, But is it a Problem?
- Consumer-safety advocates and poultry producers fired off salvos of statistics Thursday over contaminants in raw chicken, after Consumer Reports unveiled an investigation the group said showed “potentially harmful bacteria” on 97% of chicken breasts tested.
New York Times: Group Seeks Special Label for Food: ‘Natural’
- The trade organization representing the nation’s largest food and beverage companies wants permission to label as “natural” products that contain genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy, canola and sugar, according to a letter sent to the Food and Drug Administration.
Food Safety News: USDA Names Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety
- Brian Ronholm has been named acting under secretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Wall Street Journal: China Rejects U.S. Corn Imports on GMO Strain
- China has blocked about a quarter of U.S. corn imports this year, the largest volume it has rejected, blaming the discovery of an unapproved genetically-modified strain.
Wall Street Journal: Argentina Files WTO Trade Complaint Against EU Over Biodiesel
- Argentina has filed a new complaint against the European Union at the World Trade Organization, accusing the EU of imposing illegal tariffs on Argentine biodiesel shipments to Europe.
Wall Street Journal: Sharon Bowen Nominated to Join CFTC
- If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Bowen would succeed Bart Chilton, a Democrat on the five-member commission who plans to soon leave the agency.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Nov. 2013 was globe's warmest on record, but U.S. drought subsides
- This November was the globe's warmest on record, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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- Does your organization have an ag or rural policy event planned in 2014? If so we'd love to add it to our event calendar.
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