Archived Posts

News Flash: July 16, 2015

INDUSTRY

House ag committee approves bill that would ban state GMO labeling laws

The house Agriculture Committee aided in pushing a ban on mandatory genetically modified foods closer to law on Tuesday. The bill would act as a major food victory for food and chemical industries by prohibiting states from forcing food companies to note the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their products. If passed, the bill would also stop individual states, such as Vermont, from implementing a mandatory GMO labeling law next year. Star Tribune

BIOFUEL

DOE invests $18M in 6 projects aimed at sub-$5 per gallon algae biofuels by 2019

The US Energy Department recently announced six projects with up to $18 million in funding to reduce the modeled price of algae-based biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. This funding supports the development of a bio-economy that would focus on creating green jobs, spurring innovation, improving the environment, and achieving national energy security. The Department has targeted $3 per gge for advanced algal biofuels by 2030 which will require investment in applied research and development technologies to achieve higher yields from bio-products and biofuels from algae. Barriers will need to be overcome in relation to algae cultivation, harvesting, and conversion to fuels and products. Biofuels Digest

CANOLA

New canola seed could increase options for meal use

A new era of opportunity, surrounding scientific advances in the nutritive power of dietary fiber has emerged for Canadian canola meal, which could also provide a new opportunity for U.S. canola production. This opportunity has the potential to contribute to U.S. canola production as a highly sought feed ingredient across livestock sectors worldwide. “The dietary fiber story is really where a lot of the secret lies to truly maximize the feed value of canola meal,” said Bogdan Slominski, University of Manitoba, a leading expert in carbohydrate chemistry and new feed ingredient evaluations. “The more we understand about the composition of dietary fiber and the options to address it, the more success we can achieve to benefit producers, industry and the end-use customer. Today is an exciting time with lots of advances showing excellent promise.” Ag Professional

CORN

AG Report: National Corn Growers Congress In Washinton D.C.

The annual National Corn Growers Congress will bring corn growers from across the nation to Washington, DC this week. The corn growers main concern this year is the future of ethanol. Bruce Rohwer, the past president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and a farmer from Paullina, says corn growers hope to influence government officials to increase the renewable fuels standard. “We are attempting to let the EPA know that they still are not heading in the right direction on the amount of ethanol that should be included in the nation’s fuel supply,” says Rohwer. Sioux Land Matters

PALM

Wayne State researchers explore effects of Tocotrienol-rich fraction from palm oil in ESRD patients

A nutrition and food science professor at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne University will lead a team of researchers to study the effects of a daily supplement of a Tocotrienol-rich fraction from palm oil. The aim of the studies is to find out if the portion of palm oil improves dyslipidemia, a disorder of lipoprotein metabolism that may be manifested by a decrease in the “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in patients with End-stage renal disease (End-stage renal diseaseESRD). Tocotrienols are a form of Vitamin E and have been shown in recent years to have diverse health effects. The team will also explore the impact on inflammation and Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms in the same group of patients. News Medical

SOYBEAN

American Soybean Association calls on the House of Representatives to pass GMO labeling bill

The American Soybean Association (ASA) urges the House of Representatives to consider legislation that would “establish clear and consistent national framework for the voluntary labeling of GMO-free foods, as well as foods containing biotechnology.” The House Agriculture Committee has been working to approve the bill, which would set science-based standards for labeling and provide consumers with the information they seek on product labels. “Consumers continue to demand more transparency and accountability from food producers. This bill ensures that a multi-state patchwork of state regulations is avoided, as the wide range of potential individual and conflicting non-GMO labeling schemes,” said Wade Cowan, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas. SeedQuest

High oleic soybeans may be just what the doctor ordered

A federal directive to eliminate trans fats from foods may be a positive change for the public health, but also for the biotechnology industry. Four years ago, the high oleic soybean was introduced representing the first soybean trait genetically engineered to directly benefit consumers. The high oleic soybeans began in a limited area in Ohio in 2011, and are now grown by farmers in nine states, including Michigan. Acre increases each year are due to competitive performance, demand for enhanced soybean oil and opportunities for a price premium. The majority of biotech crops produced in the past two decades were targeted for weed and pest control. Farmers’ Advance