Archived Posts

News Flash: October 8, 2015


Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs
Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops. Members of the economic bloc have until Oct. 3 to let the E.U. know if they were requesting to opt out of growing GMO produce from major companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer, and according to the Food Navigator, a food trade publication, countries including Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria and Cyprus recently filed their requests and applications, increasing the number to 16. Exactly how many countries will ultimately opt out could be confirmed as soon as Monday. Time

Could biomimicry hold the key to engineering healthy oils in to solid fats?
The use of biomimicry to form nature-inspired oleogels could help manufacturers to better structure unsaturated fats to replace trans fats, say researchers. The desire to swap out trans fats and saturated fats with other healthier options is currently limited by the failture to structure healthy oils in to a solid state while maintaining their positive functions, but now researchers believe that the use of biominimicry could hold the key to structuring unsaturated fats. Food Navigator

FDA begins review of trans fat petition The FDA has formally begun to review the food industry’s food additive petition seeking approval for certain uses of partially hydrogenated oils, starting the clock on what is expected to be a two-year process as the Obama administration moves to all but ban PHOs by 2018. “FDA’s acceptance of our food additive petition marks the beginning of the agency’s formal review process and we look forward to working with the FDA on achieving approval for these proposed low-level uses of PHOs,” said Leon Bruner, chief science officer at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “Our petition shows that the proposed PHO uses are as safe as the naturally occurring trans fat present in the normal diet.” Politico


US Grains Council happy with TPP results for ethanol and corn
In Washington, U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight on completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks said, “Our priorities in these talks have been focused on the broad goal of securing increased market access for U.S. grains and ethanol and ensuring that existing access remains open. That means lasting tariff relief, sanitary and phytosanitary provisions that will reduce the impact of non-tariff barriers, and meaningful global progress on the synchronous approval of biotech events. “In 2014, the United States exported more than $6 billion in corn and corn co-products to the TPP region out of a world total of $11.4 billion. A TPP agreement is expected to increase the output of all grain exports from the United States by 11 percent. Biofuels Digest


Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will increase canola exports and support communities
Today in Atlanta, Georgia, trade ministers from 12 pacific countries announced the conclusion of a landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will allow canola exports to grow substantially. By eliminating tariffs and bringing new disciplines to non-tariff barriers like those related to biotechnology, the agreement will improve the competitiveness of the Canadian canola industry. “Eliminating tariffs on canola oil in Japan is a huge benefit to the canola industry,” says Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada. “Once the agreement is fully implemented, the TPP will put us on a level playing field in one of our most valuable export markets.” SeedQuest


Analysts Look For Higher Soy, Lower Corn Yield in USDA Report
Market analysts anticipate USDA to raise their estimate on the U.S. soybean yield on Friday, with farmers generally reporting higher yields as fall harvest pushes north. As of Oct. 4, soybean harvest was 42% complete compared to the 5-year average of 32%, according to USDA, with Illinois at 49% harvested, Indiana at 41%, Iowa at 32% and Minnesota at 69% harvested. Meanwhile, 73% of the U.S. soybean crop was rated good-to-excellent, up from the prior week’s rating of 62% good-to-excellent. “You have to argue that with the soybean number, the door is certainly open for a bigger yield number,” says Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain. AG Web


Palm oil producers call for government support
The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) says the government should provide support and pay close attention to the national palm oil industry to ensure that it continues to grow in the midst of the country’s economic slowdown.“There should be supports from the government so that this industry can survive and dominate the international market,” said Gapki chairman Joko Supriyono as quoted by Antara news agency in Jakarta on Monday.He said the ongoing fluctuations of the rupiah exchange rate had hurt palm oil companies in Indonesia, especially those with huge US-dollar debts.“In the current slowing economic condition, many business players are tightening their belts, thus, we need support from the government,” he added. Jakarta Post


High oleic soybeans provide performance
You expect the seeds you plant to meet high standards. Soybeans have to perform, and they need to fit your system for managing pests and weeds. As you make seed decisions for next year, take a look at varieties that meet those tough standards and create demand for soybeans.
Specialty soybean varieties are one way to bring in extra revenue, but farmers want options that can yield competitively with their commodity soybeans. The soy checkoff continues to work with seed companies to bring competitive high oleic varieties to market in more maturity groups. These varieties make a difference for end-use customers and can stack up against top commodity varieties in the field. Corn and Soybean Digest