World meat production will decline for the first time in two decades because of the devastating epidemic of African swine fever in China, the world’s largest pork producer, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Thursday.
The United States and South Korea, the sixth-largest customer for U.S. farm exports, agreed to limit the trade impact of any outbreaks of deadly avian influenza in the future, announced the USDA.
Negotiators are "engaged on their priority areas of interest" for revisions of the U.S.-South Korean free-trade agreement, but the U.S. trade representative's office says there is "much work to do before we can reach an agreement that serves the economic interests of the American people." South Korea is the sixth-largest market for U.S. farm exports; the Trump administration has focused on industrial products such as automobiles.
Exports generate an important part of U.S. farm income, yet they are jeopardized by President Trump's decision to renegotiate NAFTA and his threats to cancel the U.S.-Korea trade pact, writes former agriculture secretary Dan Glickman in an essay in The Hill newspaper. "These two threats alone have serious potential implications for the health of American agriculture, which is so dependent on agriculture exports.
Once again, farmer groups expressed concern over the heated rhetoric coming out of the White House over trade agreements. The American Soybean Association and U.S. wheat groups were especially critical as a result of indications that the White House would withdraw from the free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea as early as Tuesday.
The tip that led to discovery of rogue GMO wheat in the Pacific Northwest reached the USDA on June 14, more than six weeks before the incident was made public. Officials spent the time in verifying it was a genetically-engineered variety from Monsanto and to begin testing all the wheat grown on the farm in Washington State where 22 stalks of wheat survived a dose of herbicide that should have killed them.
Only three countries show no serious signs of malnutrition: China, Vietnam and South Korea, according to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report. The rest of the world is plagued by such poor nutrition indicators as “stunted toddlers, anemic young women and obese adults,” says The New York Times. In the United States, each obese family member costs families an average of 8 percent of their income in additional healthcare.
South Korea and the United States agreed to a streamlined system of trade for processed organic products, including condiments, cereal, baby food, frozen meals, milk and alcoholic beverages, effective on Tuesday. The agreement says each country accepts that organic products from the other country meet the importing country's standards.
The first case of mad cow disease in Canada since 2011 was confirmed in a beef cow in Alberta, according to the Canadian Press. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said he did not expect the discovery to affect beef exports.
The leaders of the United States and Japan say "they have made significant progress on the agriculture and auto issues that have blocked a huge Asia-Pacific trade deal following intense talks," says Politico.
President Obama will meet the leaders of four nations - Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines - during a trip through Asia that begins on Tuesday.