The recently passed tax law included a provision that gives farmers a larger tax savings if they sell their goods to cooperatives. Now grain companies, angered by what they see as an advantage being given to their competitors, are setting up their own cooperatives in case the law isn’t amended.
Nearly 2 million acres — 3,100 square miles — of forested land were cleared for agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon in the year ending July 2016, while Bolivia has cut down 865,000 acres, equal to 1,351 square miles, annually, says The New York Times. "A decade after the 'Save the Rainforest' movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world," said the newspaper.
A Chinese government commission announced the merger of COFCO, the nation's largest food trader, with Chinatex Corp., one of the country's main textile and grain-trading groups, said China Daily. The new company will be "a bigger rival to compete with the so-called ABCD companies." The "ABCDs" are the long-time international farm export and processing companies — ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.
Bunge and Archer Daniels Midland, two of the largest grain processors in the country, say they will not accept delivery of a new genetically engineered soybean strain from Monsanto because of marketing questions, reported Bloomberg. The European Union has not approved the strain, called Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, for import.
At least one soybean exporter in Brazil has agreed to collect royalties for Monsanto, the giant seed company, from growers who plant biotech seeds that contain Monsanto's traits, said Reuters, citing industry sources.
The world's largest cereal maker, Kellogg Co, said it will reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 to combat climate change.
1. Environmental Working Group produces a GMO-free food guide. In a nutshell, it says, buy organic or verified GMO-free foods and steer away from food made with corn, soybeans, sugar and vegetable oils because most of the US supply comes from biotech crops.