Archived Posts

News Flash: August 13, 2015


Former SNP government scientific adviser slams decision to ban genetically modified crops

The former top scientific adviser to the SNP government has slammed a decision to ban genetically modified crops. Professor Anne Glover, who held the post between 2006 and 2011, undermined Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead’s major policy by warning it will set the country back. She said the ban will halt advances in tackling huge problems like potato blight, which can destroy crops. And she claimed it does nothing to halt the use of chemicals in modern agriculture. At the weekend, Lochhead said the move will protect Scotland’s “clean, green status” and the country’s £14billion food and drink sector. Daily Record

Food industry has long trans fat wish list

The food industry is asking the Food and Drug Administration to approve continued use of trans fats in some consumer products, ranging from pie crust mixes, to cookies, to marinated artichoke hearts, in the face of the Obama administration’s crackdown on the substance. In June, the administration announced its decision that partially hydrogenated oils are not “generally recognized as safe” and gave the food industry until 2018 to remove or seek regulatory approval for any uses it wanted to continue.  Politico


Oil Companies Going Green: Opportunities for Improvement

According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, 61% of the American public has a negative view of oil companies. At the time Gallup conducted this poll, gas prices were sky-high ($3.60/gallon national average for that time), as were Big Oil profits ($120 billion annually). Research done into the Keystone Pipeline debate, gives us another perspective on public perception. According to 2012 data on Polling Report: 64% of all Americans believe that the Government should more strongly enforce existing environmental regulations, 70% want stricter emissions limits, and 65% want a stronger focus on renewable energy. Huffington Post


Enzyme treatment helps unlock canola potential as others cut fiber content

A new multi-enzyme treatment may unlock more nutrition from the fibrous component of canola meal, researchers say, while other possibilities are being explored to minimize the fiber content. Canola meal’s complexity suggested the use of a multiple enzyme package rather than a single enzyme treatment, said Bogdan Slominski, a professor of animal species at the University of Manitoba. The treatment has been found to release an additional 100 to 150 kcal/kg of apparent metabolizable energy (AME) from canola meal. Feed Navigator


Oil to copper to corn unhinged by shock China devaluation

Oil and copper prices slumped to six-year lows and other commodities tumbled on Tuesday after China devalued the yuan, raising concerns that a persistently weaker currency will choke demand in the world’s top consumer. Adding to a weeks-long summer selloff that has rattled raw material investors and producers, major commodity markets fell 3 per cent or more after China’s central bank made what it called a “one-off depreciation” of nearly 2 per cent in the yuan after a run of poor economic data, which sent the currency to a three-year low. Austrailian Financial Review


$175m palm oil imported in 2014

Ghana last year imported 250,000 metric tonnes of palm oil from South East Asia at a cost of over $175m. Last year, the country produced 135,000 metric tonnes of palm oil, out of the 370,000 metric tonnes of palm oil demand. This is happening at a time when the cedi is depreciating fast due to high import volumes.This month, one metric tonne of palm oil is sold for $600, which is twice the price of one tonne of crude oil. Ghana Web


Pakistani importers seek 66,000 tons of soybeans from U.S. or Brazil

Pakistani importers are negotiating over the purchase of about 66,000 tons of soybeans to be sourced from the United States or Brazil, European traders said on Wednesday. The soybeans were being sought for shipment between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, they said. Pakistan has been a heavy buyer of soybeans this year as import duties and local sales taxes have made soybean imports for local crushing more attractive than soymeal imports, one trader said. “Pakistan has already purchased over 700,000 tons of soybeans since the end of February,” one trader said. “Pakistani processors are crushing over 75,000 tons of soybeans monthly. Two vessels are loading from the United States and one from Brazil.” Ag Week

Soybean farmers face a new foe: early aphids

Aphids, the tiny insects that can overwhelm soybeans and reduce yields, are appearing earlier than in previous years. Erin Hodgson, an associate professor of entomology at Iowa State University, says she’s received reports that producers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and northeastern counties in Iowa are treating soybeans for aphids, about two weeks ahead of when the pests became problematic last year. Hodgson says she can’t say for certain why aphids appear to be running ahead of schedule, but she recommends farmers stay vigilant. Futurity