Deadline nears for House attempt to revive farm bill

The electoral circuitry to revive the Republican-written House farm bill this week looks like the mechanism of a Rube Goldberg machine. Republican leaders plan floor votes on two immigration bills, neither certain of passage, to generate support among hardline conservatives for the farm bill. A close vote is expected, just like the roll call that sank the bill a month ago.

Private equity firms are buying up your favorite food brands

Last week, the private equity firm High Bluff Capital Partners bought Quiznos’ parent company for an undisclosed sum. Quiznos joins the dozens of popular fast-casual chains that have been bought by private equity firms in recent years. The quickening pace of private equity buys in the food sector is bringing greater scrutiny to an opaque business model and its ramifications for companies’ workers. No paywall

Advocates ask North Carolina governor to veto right-to-farm law

Several national and local advocacy groups are calling on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to veto a bill that would greatly restrict the public's ability to sue large-scale animal farms over negative health and environmental effects. The state general assembly passed the bill on Friday.

Today’s quick hits, June 19, 2018

Trump: $200 billion more in tariffs on China (White House): China “is threatening U.S. companies, workers and farmers who have done nothing wrong” with $50 billion in retaliatory tariffs, said President Trump, who says he will put 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in …

Farm sector fears large losses from mounting trade conflict

The Farm Belt will get walloped if China retaliates in equal measure against Washington's $50 billion in announced tariffs on Chinese goods, said economists at Midwestern universities. Ohio State researchers said farmers in the Buckeye State could see a 50 percent drop in farm income while Iowa State's Chad Hart said producers in the Hawkeye State could lose up to $624 million this year, depending on how long the tariffs are in place and if other customers are found.

Play nicely, Canada, and you can keep supply management, Perdue says

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was quick to say he's not a NAFTA negotiator but he repeatedly told reporters during a visit to Prince Edward Island that "it is not our desire to do away with" Canada's supply management system for dairy – if Canada does a better job of managing the supply. "They can't use the supply management system to negatively affect our producers south of the border," said Perdue during a teleconference.

FDA says it has jurisdiction over lab-grown meat

The field of lab-grown meat is "dynamic," "complex" and "evolving," said FDA leaders in declaring the agency, which regulates most of the food supply, has the technical expertise and the statutory authority to regulate so-called clean meat. The cattle industry protested that the USDA is in charge of meat safety.

Handful of GMO wheat plants found in southern Alberta

Canadian regulators are puzzled by the discovery of seven genetically modified wheat stalks in southern Alberta that contain herbicide-tolerant genes, said the Manitoba Cooperator, but they say there's no sign of GMO wheat in the country's seed or wheat supplies. No country has approved GMO wheat for commercial use. Japan suspended purchases of Canadian wheat on Friday until it is certain there are no GMOs in the grain, reported Global News.

Today’s quick hits, June 18, 2018

Hog lawsuits called economic threat in North Carolina (Fayetteville Observer): North Carolina state agriculture commissioner Steve Troxler says nuisance lawsuits could set a precedent that threatens the economic stability of the state. Farmers quiz Pruitt about ethanol (AP): EPA administrator …

NAFTA talks will continue through summer, says Canada

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Canada for a bilateral meeting today with Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay on “issues of shared importance in agriculture.” At the same time, NAFTA negotiations seem to be gaining new footing.