Global food shortages are a real possibility as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Biden told reporters while meeting with allies in Brussels on Thursday. Western leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, joined Biden in saying they would step up their hunger-relief programs and encourage their farmers to grow more food.
Responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission approved a $550 million aid package for its farmers on Wednesday and said they could grow food and feed crops on fallowed land without losing any of their so-called greening payments.
German ag and healthcare giant Bayer said it is “in exclusive talks with BASF on the sale of its entire vegetable seeds business” as a way of gaining European approval for its takeover of Monsanto.
In the face of landslide support in the European Parliament for a five-year phaseout of glyphosate, the executive branch of the EU dropped its proposal for a 10-year extension to the license for use of the weedkiller, said Reuters. Instead, the European Commission said it will seek a consensus …
France is open to phasing out use of the weedkiller glyphosate within its borders and will vote against a proposed 10-year EU license for the weedkiller, said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. Reuters reported that Philippe asked the agriculture and environment ministries to propose by the end of this year "a plan to move away from glyphosate in light of current research and available alternatives for farmers."
Bayer’s $57 billion purchase of Monsanto, the latest in a wave of consolidation among seed and ag-chemical companies, faces an in-depth investigation by EU regulators over concerns the merger would result in higher prices and reduced competition in the seed, pesticide, and plant trait sector, said the Wall Street Journal.
The European Commission will propose granting glyphosate — the world’s most common weedkiller and the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — a 10-year renewal of its license. The commission had held off on making the proposal over controversy that the chemical was carcinogenic.
More than a decade after joining the EU, residents of Eastern Europe believe they are getting the short end of the deal, and the resentment is taking form in complaints about sub-standard food, reports the New York Times. "With rising passion, prominent politicians and local news media have taken up the issue of whether Eastern Europeans are being sold inferior products."
The administrative arm of the European Union opened an in-depth review of the proposed $130 billion merger of Dow and DuPont, identifying its three primary areas of concern as seeds, pesticides and petrochemicals.
If the EU fails to approve a free-trade agreement with Canada, its trade policy will be "close to death," in the view of the bloc's director-general for trade, reported Politico.
In a decision that removed a roadblock to adoption of a new genetically engineered soybean variety, the European Commission approved import of the Monsanto soybean that is resistant to two types of weedkillers, said Reuters. The soybean went on sale in the United States and Canada this year surrounded by questions about whether there was a market for it.
Because member states disagree, the European Commission, the administrative arm of the EU, will ask for a short-term extension of the license allowing the use of glyphosate while safety studies of the weedkiller are completed, said Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
Members of the European parliament approved a plan that would allow members of the European Union to ban genetically engineered crops within their borders even if the EU approves them, "raising the chance their use will remain limited on the continent," said Reuters.
That's how Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack summed up U.S. and EU differences on so-called geographic indicators, the names that tie a food to its home area, whether it's Vidalia onions from Georgia or sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France.