European Union

Vilsack trade view: ‘Over-reliance on China,’ no deal with EU soon

Ag exports, a key part of U.S. farm revenue, are expected to generate 36 cents of every $1 in cash income this year, thanks to high commodity prices as the world recovers its appetite and the pandemic recedes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the country ought to diversify its sales to a broader range of markets.

EU targets U.S. agriculture and aircraft in airplane dispute

The European Union announced higher tariffs on $4 billion worth of U.S. products, including agricultural exports, industrial goods, and aircraft on Monday in an escalating dispute over government support of the airplane industry on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The Trump administration …

How did Europe avoid a Covid-19 crisis at its meatpacking plants?

In the United States, Covid-19 has been sweeping through meatpacking plants, infecting more than 24,000 workers and killing at least 92 of them. Those figures are more than nine-times larger than at meat plants in Europe, though the U.S. industry has only a third more workers.  Bridget Huber explains how Europe largely avoided the crisis sweeping the U.S. industry in FERN's latest story. (No paywall)

EU won’t discuss agriculture in trade talks with U.S.

Leaders of EU countries agreed to open trade talks with the United States on Monday with the goal of eliminating tariffs on industrial goods but said that agricultural products would not be part of the negotiations.

Data consolidation threatens sustainable agriculture, says international panel

If you care about reducing pesticide use, promoting agricultural biodiversity, and supporting small farmers, then you should also care about who’s amassing agricultural data. That’s the message of a new report from a group of sustainable food policy experts. (No paywall)

Put out the fire, farm groups say as trade turmoil flares

One-third of U.S. agricultural trade flows through Canada and Mexico, and both nations quickly vowed tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. food and ag products after President Trump announced duties on steel and aluminum from the North American neighbors on Thursday.

French dairy giant recalls 7,000 tons of baby formula

Lactalis, the biggest dairy company in France, has recalled over 7,000 tons of baby formula and powdered milk products across 80 countries, reports the New York Times. The recalls, which were implemented over the course of several weeks, amounted to one of the biggest such recalls in history. At least 38 children were sickened by salmonella found in the recalled products.

EU justice official suggests relaxed rules for gene editing

Crops created by gene editing techniques such as CRISPR “might not need to be regulated by the strict European Union rules that govern genetically modified organisms,” said Nature, citing a formal opinion from an advocate general at the European Court of Justice.

EU postpones vote on license for glyphosate

With protesters outside the EU headquarters in Brussels, EU member nations postponed a vote on extending the license to use the weedkiller glyphosate in Europe. Approval for the herbicide expires at the end of December and the next opportunity for an EU decision will likely be at a Nov. 6 meeting, said Associated Press.

Monsanto no longer allowed at European parliament

Monsanto has been banned from attending European parliament proceedings after the corporation refused to appear for a parliamentary hearing, slated for October 11, to investigate regulatory interference. Monsanto is accused of influencing studies on the safety of the glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the company’s weedkiller Roundup.

EU to review Bayer-Monsanto merger for seed and pesticide impact

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.

G20 countries disturbed by U.S. stance on climate change

The U.S. stood alone at the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, as all the other countries, including China and the European Union, called on the Trump administration to address climate change.

New EU data on antibiotics contain warning for U.S.

New data on antibiotic resistance in agriculture, released Friday by agencies of the European Union, demonstrate how complicated it is to control all the uses of antibiotics on farms and to prevent all the side effects of antibiotic use.

Countries can’t cut food waste if they fail to measure it, report says

Countries must start figuring out how much food they waste if they’re going to meet the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal of halving global food waste and lowering food loss by 2030, says a report out by Champions 12.3, a coalition of government, business, and research organizations.

Glyphosate ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,’ says EPA paper

In a 227-page "issue paper" compiled for a panel of experts, the EPA says its latest analysis indicates glyphosate, the most widely used weedkiller in the world, does not cause cancer. "The strongest support is for 'not likely to be carcinogenic to humans' at doses relevant to human health risk assessment," says the paper in a discussion of the results of dozens of studies that it reviewed.

China shoulders aside Japan as top pork importer

The world's largest pork producer and consumer, China, has soared into the lead as the world's largest pork importer, accounting for one-fourth of the world market. China will import 2.4 million tons of pork this year, a million tons more than Japan, the previous leader, says a semiannual USDA report.

President Hollande chose his ex-wife over his best friend in French glyphosate vote

Earlier this year, when France voted to not extend glyphosate’s EU license for 18 months, the decision was personal for President François Hollande, says Politico EU. Hollande essentially had to choose between siding with his best friend in government, Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll, and the mother of his four children, Energy and Environment Minister Ségolène Royal.

French wheat crop down 26 percent on poor weather

FNSEA, the French national farming union, estimates the wheat crop in Europe’s largest agricultural producer will total 30 million tonnes this year, down 26 percent from 2016 due to a rainy and cloudy weather that kept grains from filling.

Scratch that: WHO and UN say glyphosate not carcinogenic after all

Two days before the EU is set to vote on whether to relicense the pesticide glyphosate, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization have decided that the chemical is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet,” reports The Guardian.

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