UK’s Johnson opens door to GMO foods from the U.S., as he seeks trade deal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wasted no time, after officially exiting the European Union last Friday, in courting a bilateral trade deal with America, decrying “hysterical” fears about U.S. food standards such as genetically-modified crops, The Guardian reported. “I look at the …
Britain-EU break-up leaves farmers short of workers
The "Brexodus" — the British withdrawal from the EU — "is being felt particularly acutely in the agriculture industry, which relies heavily on manual laborers, especially from poor European countries like Romania and Bulgaria," says the New York Times. Thousands of foreign-born workers have left England, or have decided not to return to harvest-time jobs on farms or other industries.
British farmers urge EU to reauthorize glyphosate for ‘maximum period possible’
In a joint letter, British farm groups urged the European Union to reauthorize use of the weedkiller glyphosate "for the maximum period possible." The European Commission has proposed a five-year extension of the license for glyphosate, and an EC committee could discuss the future of the herbicide at a meeting expected on Thursday, said news site Farming UK.
Red light, green light: France rolls out color codes for food labels
French shoppers will be able to tell at a glance if food products are healthy or not under a voluntary "Nutri Score" color code for food products, ranging from a dark green "A," for the best foods, to a red "E," for the worst, says Euractiv. The ministries of health, agriculture and economy jointly introduced the plan, saying it would allow nutritional value to be weighed as easily as price at the grocery store.
Bird flu on the move in Europe and Asia, with poultry and human victims
Strains of the influenza virus that decimated Midwestern turkey and egg production in 2014 and 2015 are now wreaking havoc in poultry production in several parts of the world, including China where the virus has jumped species and infected and killed humans.
Use antibiotics less often, say British cattle veterinarians
Building on a 10 percent reduction in the use of antibiotics to treat farm animals, the British Cattle Veterinary Association is encouraging its members and the cattle industry to further reduce the use of the antimicrobials, says The Cattle Site, a website for industry news. The recommendations are aimed at lower overall use of antibiotics and minimizing critically important antibiotics, such as cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and colistin.
Long-term UK study links neonics to wild-bee decline
An 18-year study of 60 wild bee species in Britain found that populations declined when the bees foraged on crops treated with neonicintinoid pesticides, according to the Washington Post. "The study provides some of the first evidence that the effects of neonicotinoid exposure can scale up to cause major damage to bees," the Post said.
New app lets restaurants sell food headed to trash
Too Good To Go, a food rescue app, has convinced restaurants in six countries to sell end-of-the-day food at a discount to hungry locals in an effort to reduce food waste. The six-month-old app has a major presence in the UK, with a waitlist of 95 London eateries anticipating its August launch, Eater writes.
Brexit may put a floor under sagging U.K. cropland values
Over the past year, UK cropland values have fallen by 9 percent, says Agrimoney, with one land company seeing a continued decline this summer while another says prices are stabilizing after the steepest decline in at least 12 years. Both companies "were sanguine about the effect of a British exit from the EU on land prices," said Agrimoney, based in London.
Antibiotic resistance could kill 10 million a year by mid-Century
Without action to protect the efficacy of antibiotics and to develop new antimicrobials, 10 million people a year would die worldwide due to drug-resistant bacteria by 2050, said a study commissioned by the British government. The report called for coordinated action worldwide to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics, pointing to animal agriculture in particular.
Organic is big in Yuma County; blight-resistant potatoes in UK
Organic farms operate 1 percent of U.S. cropland, so Yuma County in the southwestern corner of Arizona is exceptional. As much as 12 percent of farmland in the county is in organic production, reports the Yuma Sun, up from an estimated 7 percent in 2012.
Like U.S., British farmers pummeled by lower crop prices
Farm income in Britain fell by 29 percent during 2015, according to a government estimate, to the smallest amount in eight years, reported Bloomberg.
Caution in Britain as U.S. greenlights CRISPR crops
Two gene-edited crops -- white button mushrooms and "waxy" hybrid corn -- are years from the market yet they already are creating turmoil in Britain over the use of gene-editing technology and the propriety of importing foods created with it, says The Guardian.
Early British rapeseed yields up slightly after EU neonic ban
Initial figures on Britain's rapeseed harvest show yields are slightly above the 10-year average, says the Independent. This is the first harvest since the EU banned use of neonicotinoid pesticides out of concern that they harm honeybees and other pollinating insects.
Bird flu confirmed in England and Netherlands
The first case of avian influenza in England in six years was confirmed on a duck farm in Yorkshire, authorities said, a day after a highly contagious strain of bird flu was discovered at a poultry farm in the Netherlands, said the BBC.
US, British science panels issue paper on climate change
Says a story at Feedstuffs, "The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Royal Society, the national science academy of the U.K., released a joint publication Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C., that...