Oregon joins Pacific Coast bloc for cage-free eggs

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a law last Friday that will require eggs sold in the state, whether they come from commercial flocks in Oregon or are produced elsewhere, to come from cage-free hens beginning in 2024. California and Washington State already have similar laws.

Japan buys U.S. wheat, puts new GMO testing system in place

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture purchased $18 million worth of U.S. wheat last week, days after announcing it would not interrupt imports because of the discovery of GMO wheat in a fallow field in Washington State. The Japan Agricultural Times reported the ministry said on July 17 that it had adopted a new inspection method so there was no need to suspend purchases.

USDA identifies two Monsanto strains in rogue GMO wheat in Washington State

The GMO wheat discovered growing wild in a Washington State field this spring actually sprouted from two different strains developed by Monsanto, the USDA announced over the weekend. Genetically engineered wheat is not approved for cultivation anywhere in the world, yet "volunteer" herbicide-resistant plants have been confirmed four times in the U.S. Northwest more than a decade after field trials ended.

Rogue GE wheat found in U.S. Northwest for fourth time since 2013

The USDA has never approved cultivation of genetically engineered wheat, yet for the fourth time since April 2013 a wheat strain resistant to the weedkiller glyphosate was found growing wild in the northwestern United States. The discovery could disrupt wheat exports and it raises questions about USDA's ability to police agricultural biotechnology.

The $32-million question in Washington State: Carbon emissions fee

Two years after the thundering defeat of a carbon tax in a statewide referendum, voters in Washington State will decide whether to establish a carbon fee on polluters, starting at $15 a ton for large-scale emitters of greenhouse gases. Billionaire Bill Gates donated $1 million in support of …

Big Soda pours $20 million into fight against local soda taxes

In June 2017, the Seattle City Council approved a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce on sugary beverages. Now the soda industry has donated almost every dollar of the $20.2 million raised to support a statewide referendum on Nov. 6 that would prevent other cities and counties in Washington State from following Seattle’s lead.

Escaped salmon found 40 miles upstream from Puget Sound

In August, 305,000 farm-raised Atlantic salmon weighing 8 to 10 pounds apiece escaped into Puget Sound when a net collapsed at a floating fish farm near Cyprus Island.

Farmer group wants Interior to convene ‘God Squad’ over salmon

A group representing farmers in Washington State and Oregon is urging the Interior Department to convene the “God squad” — an interagency committee empowered to override the Endangered Species Act — over complaints that the act's protections on salmon are hurting growers and others.

Foodmaker group to pay $1.1 million in costs in GMO case

A Washington state judge ordered the Grocer Manufacturers Association to pay $1.1 million in costs and fees in a campaign finance lawsuit stemming from the state referendum over GMO food labeling in 2013. The trade group previously was fined $18 million for violating state campaign laws, the largest penalty ever.