Archived Posts

News Flash: July 23, 2015


GMOs: Congress may block states from requiring labeling

H.R. 1599, backed by food industry, would make the labeling of food products derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) voluntary for food companies, while banning individual states and municipalities from requiring labeling laws. The House bill passed through the House Agriculture Committee last week and may be voted on by the full chamber on Thursday. This bill would also prevent Vermont from going forward with its mandatory labeling law. CNBC

New Tools Would Advance Efforts to Ensure the Safety of Imported Foods

The FDA has published a proposed rule and a draft guidance document to support a new program under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help eligible foreign entities demonstrate that imported food meets U.S. food safety requirements. Audits and certifications for eligible foreign entities under this program will be used by importers applying for expedited review through the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), and may also be required by FDA as a condition of granting imported food admission into the United States when certain food safety risks have been identified. Federal Register


Why airlines keep pushing biofuels: They have no choice

Within the next two decades, the number of global fliers is expected to more than double, reaching around 7.3 billion per year. In order to accommodate these increases, airlines are turning to technology that may not be efficient on a large scale: converting trash into fuel. The industry fears that this growth may be limited by global aircraft emissions without a replacement for jet fuel. “It’s about retaining, as an industry, our license to grow,” says Julie Felgar, managing director for environmental strategy at plane maker Boeing, which is coordinating sustainable biofuel research programs in the U.S., Australia, China, Brazil, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Associated Press


Canola industry launches #CanolaCountry campaign to support trade and market access

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) recently launched the #CanolaCountry campaign which features canola impacts across Canada and international trade benefits. Canadians working in the canola industry, including seed developers, growers, processors, and exporters are joining in this effort to share the personal and community impacts of canola, benefits of increased market access and a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). “Through the #CanolaCountry campaign, we are helping Canadians understand what canola means to our prosperity, livelihoods and communities across Canada,” says Patti Miller, president of the CCC. “We are inviting Canadians living and working in Canola Country to share what canola’s success means to them at and on Twitter, using the hashtag #CanolaCountry.” SeedQuest


Clemson scientists stopping small insects from doing big damage to corn

A corn-field can often be a host for pests such as the corn earworm, says Francis Reay-Jones, an associate professor and research scientist for Clemson University. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Carolina State’s Dominic Reisig and other colleagues, Reay-Jones is conducting ongoing research which involves genetically modified corn and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins. “We are continuing to look at how injury from these insects impacts the yield of Bt hybrids,” said Reay-Jones, who also conducts trials at Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville. “Over the years, the seed companies have released hybrids with new Bt toxins or hybrids expressing multiple Bt toxins (known as pyramided Bt corn), and it’s important that we continue to test them, as toxins vary in how they affect corn earworms and fall armyworms. There’s a real benefit in having university scientists provide unbiased recommendations.” Eurekalert


Palm oil can be the next ‘gold’ for Ghana

Mr. Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Head of Corporate Affairs, Unilever Ghana, described the palm oil sub-sector as the next “gold” sector for the country if all key stakeholders collaborate to work towards growing to meet the increasing global demand for sustainable palm oil. Opoku-Asare spoke at the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Palm Oil Initiative Ghana Country Workshop held in Accra, and reported that the palm oil sector currently employs over 300,000 people in Ghana and must be given the needed attention to exploit its full potential to make sustainable palm oil production the norm versus the exception. The workshop was organized by the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) Africa Palm Oil. Ghana Web


Soybeans in India Get ‘Rebirth’ With Return of Monsoon Rains

Rain has returned to India’s main soybean-growing areas after a three week drought threatening the nation’s biggest oilseed crop. According to the India Meteorological Department, soybean field in Madhya Pradesh, producing over 50% of the nation’s crop, received more than 3.9 inches of rain over the weekend. A larger oilseed harvest may decrease the reliance on palm and soybean oils. The showers were timely for the crop as it eased the moisture stress, said Davish Jain, chairman of the Soybean Processors Association of India. Bloomberg Business