Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won’t let go of his “hold” on USDA nominee Bill Northey, said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, so he and fellow Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst have appealed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to arrange a vote. “We want to do it as soon after Nov. 30 as we can,” Grassley told ag reporters.
On the heels of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s eleventh-hour reversal last March of an Obama-era ban on chlorpyrifos — an insecticide that can permanently damage a child’s developing brain, according to the EPA’s own scientists — the agency is evaluating yet another family of controversial pesticides possibly linked to attention deficit disorders, cognitive problems, and autism.
Iowa, which has been embroiled in controversies over agricultural runoff and water-quality issues, has announced a novel program to give farmers who plant cover crops a $5-per-acre discount on their crop insurance over the next three years, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Canada stood fast in defense of its supply management system for dairy, and Mexico rejected a U.S. proposal for sanctions on seasonal surges in produce shipments during an inconclusive round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City.
In a brief ceremony that mixed traditional holiday wishes with predictable humor, President Trump “pardoned” a 36-pound white-feathered tom turkey, Drumstick, from becoming a White House meal.
While the UN’s sustainable development goals call for an end to child labor by 2025, an official at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says “child labor is mostly concentrated in agriculture and is growing,” reports Inter Press Service.
Newly released documents from the 1960s show that the sugar industry funded research on sugar and cardiovascular health “and then buried the data when it suggested that sugar could be harmful,” says the New York Times.
The director of the UN International Agency for Research on Cancer rebutted criticism of his agency’s listing of glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, as probably carcinogenic to humans, saying the criticism included “repeated misrepresentations” of the IARC’s deliberations.
Before the administration changes NAFTA, or any other trade agreement, it ought to analyze the impact on agriculture and tell farmers what to expect in the export market, said 18 farm-state senators in a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
A decade or more ago, farmers in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado began to run out of irrigation water. The solution, after years of court cases and finger-pointing, was an agreement to raise the price of water, says the NPR blog The Salt.