Archived Posts

News Flash: November 12, 2015


FDA is seeking comments from the public on the use of the term “natural”
FDA is seeking comments from the public on the use of the term “natural” in the labelling of human food products, including dietary supplements, after receiving three citizen petitions asking it define the term “natural” and asking that FDA prohibit the term “natural” on food labels. The agency also alludes to the plethora of lawsuits regarding the term natural as a reason to seek comments in the notice. FDA is also working with USDA to examine the use of the term “natural” in meat, poultry, and egg products, and are considering areas for coordination between FDA and USDA. Comments must be received on or before Feb. 10, 2016. FDA Notice

Outlook remains bullish for most edible oils

With the waves of festivities sweeping the country, the government witnessed a tough time striking a balance between demand and supply of edible oils and keeping a check on rising prices, while protecting the interests of various stakeholders. However, the prices rocketed, due to El Niño and other factors and imports burgeoned to meet the demand. The increase in import duty backfired, with an increase in retail edible oil prices. In the days to come, the demand for edible oils and oilseeds is likely to remain steady, with weddings and other festivities till January next year but could ease thereafter, as the rabi oilseed crop will be ready for harvesting in April. Business Standard

Two-thirds of EU states to ban GM crop cultivation

The European Commission has announced 19 EU member states will be able to ban the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. Environmental groups praised the news. The 19 EU member states will be able to ban GM cultivation on their territory after biotech and agriculture companies dropped objections on Thursday. GM crops have faced resistance in Europe amid concern over their impact on health and the environment. Previously, EU member states could only ban GM cultivation based on scientific evidence of health or environmental risks, but under new rules they will also be able to cite other reasons, including political considerations. Deutsche Welle


Biofuel needs $70 oil to compete, says DuPont
Advanced biofuel made from agricultural waste — the so called Holy Grail of the alternative energy industry — will not be competitive with conventional fuel until the oil is back to $70-$80 per barrel, DuPont has said. This prediction from the US chemicals group, which last week formally opened the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, underscores the challenge facing makers of “second-generation” biofuels. After a decade pursuing an elusive production process, companies are finding their business models threatened by the changing economics of the industry — as well as the politics of the US. Financial Times

Biofuel advocates say anti-RFS lawmakers turning backs on farmers

Ethanol supporters are expressing their disappointment at a recent letter targeting the Renewable Fuel Standard, saying the 184 members of Congress who signed it are turning their backs on farmers and rural communities. In a statement, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Wesley Spurlock called the RFS “one of the most successful energy policies ever enacted” and that the letter includes “false attacks on ethanol that have been disproven time and again.” Not the least of which is the assertion of a blend wall, a cap on the amount of renewable fuels that can be absorbed by the marketplace at current blending levels that are heavy on a gasoline blend that contains 10 percent ethanol. Agri-Pulse


Omega-9 fatty acids, canola oil rank high in Dow surveys
Dow AgroSciences, L.L.C. pointed to consumer surveys as reasons why the company likes to promote the omega-9 fatty acid found in oils it sources from canola and sunflower. Dow AgroSciences in a Nov. 6 webinar presented the findings from surveys it conducted this year. A survey question asked 1,000 adults to rank 12 specific types of fat as either extremely healthful, somewhat healthful, neither healthful nor unhealthful, not very healthful, not at all healthful or unaware. Omega-9 fatty acids came in third at 23% extremely healthful and 24% somewhat healthful, trailing omega-3 fatty acids (37% extremely healthful and 31% somewhat healthful) and omega-6 fatty acids (25% extremely healthful and 27% somewhat healthful). Food Business


U.S. corn production is forecast at 13.7 billion bushels
U.S. corn production is forecast at 13.7 billion bushels, representing an increase of less than 1% when compared to October, but down 4% when compared to last year’s record production, according to USDA. U.S. soybean production is forecast at 3.98 billion bushels, up 2% from October and 1% from last year. USDA Report


Palm Oil Pushes Through Drought, Fire and Smoke
Palm-oil production is holding up and stocks are accumulating despite drought, fire and a choking haze that is smothering plantations across Malaysia and Indonesia.There is no sign of a slowdown from the two countries, the world’s largest producers of palm oil. Indonesia’s exports in October were up 9% from the month before, according to the Indonesia Palm Oil Association. In Malaysia, total crude palm-oil production in October was up 4% from September and 7.6% from a year earlier, at 2 million metric tons, according to the Malaysia Palm Oil Board, while palm-oil stocks were up 7.3% from the month before and 31% from a year earlier. Wall Street Journal


Pakistan expands soybean imports
Pakistan continues to expand its imports of soybeans, importing a record of more than 500,000 tonnes in 2014-15, with projected 2015-16 imports of 1.5 million tonnes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported on Nov. 4. In addition to a tariff that now favors soybean imports over soymeal imports, a growing and modernizing domestic poultry sector, lower rapeseed imports, lower cotton production, and adequate crushing capacity are expected to support larger soybean imports. Imports of soybean meal are expected to drop from 1 million tonnes to 700,000 tonnes in 2015-16. World Grain