READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 7th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 7th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Senate Passes Cloture Vote on GMO Labeling

The U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon narrowly approved a procedural vote on GMO labeling, setting up a possible final vote Thursday (today), according to the Hagstrom Report. The Senate voted 65 to 32 to limit debate on the bill. The voting was briefly interrupted by protesters throwing money and yelling “you’ve been bribed by Monsanto.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada voted against the bill, arguing that senators should have had the opportunity to offer amendments. The bill, known as the Roberts-Stabenow compromise, preempts state laws requiring labeling of genetically modified foods and establishes a federal mandatory disclosure system. The compromise was reached after lengthy back-and-forth debate between Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Debbie Stabenow. Farm Groups, such as the American Farm Bureau, the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association, are urging the U.S. House to quickly consider the measure once it presumptively passes the Senate.

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ASA Survey Finds Vermont GMO Labeling Law Misleading

A recent online survey found Vermont’s GMO labeling law strongly misleads consumers. The survey, sponsored by the American Soybean Association, asked more than 1,600 shoppers regarding their understanding of five common on-pack food labels. When consumers were asked about the GMO label statements mandated by the Vermont law, the survey showed that on-pack labeling misled consumers to wrongly perceive the labeled product as less safe, less healthful, less nutritious, and worse for the environment. Approximately 73 percent of consumers responding to the survey indicated they would be less likely to buy foods bearing one of the required on-pack GMO label disclosures. The five food labels tested were common food label statements related to trans-fat, allergens, gluten, organic and GMOs. Following the announcement, ASA concluded “the survey results strongly suggest support for the Roberts Stabenow compromise.”

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House Passes Global Food Security Act of 2016

The U.S. House Wednesday passed the Global Food Security Act of 2016 by a vote of 369-53, giving the food aid bill final congressional approval. The bill ensures that both Feed the Future and the Emergency Food Security Program extend beyond the Obama administration. Among other things, the legislation requires the President’s administration to develop a government-wide strategy for addressing food security. House Agriculture Committee Chair Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, stated he looks forward to monitoring implementation of the bill and “developing a better understanding of how our foreign assistance dollars are being put to use.” A statement issued by the White House called the bill “an overwhelmingly bipartisan piece of legislation” that puts the President’s global hunger and food security initiative into law. 

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Food Demand Growth Projected to Slow

A new report suggests slower population growth will result in a slowdown of growth in food demand. The new Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025 report also projects that increasing food production efficiency will lower overall food prices across the globe, according to Meatingplace. The report is a collaboration between the Organization for Economic Co-operations and Development, and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The global groups say that prices for main crops, livestock and fish prices all fell in 2015, opening the door for an end to high food prices after record-high meat prices in 2014. The report adds robust supply growth combined with weakening demand in the wake of general economic slowdowns will help fuel the price reductions. Global malnutrition also is expected to decline between 11 percent and eight percent in the next decade, but the report also expects higher consumption of sugar and fats.

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Vietnam Cotton Imports Provides Small Benefit to U.S. Farmers

Vietnam is poised to import roughly 1.2 million metric tons of cotton this year, slightly boosting exports of the crop for the United States. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today reports the 1.2 million metric ton figure represents a 19 percent increase from the year prior. Rising demand in Vietnam’s textile industry and limited domestic production has increased the nations need to export, according to the Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association. Most of the imported cotton will come from the United States, followed by India, Brazil and Australia. Vietnam’s overall textile and garment exports are expected to surge 36 percent this year to the equivalent value of $31 billion.

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Agrium Acquiring Cargill’s U.S. Ag Retail business

Agrium announced Wednesday the company will purchase Cargill’s agriculture retail business in the United States. Canada-based Agrium is North America’s largest retail seller of crop inputs and will acquire 18 agriculture retail locations in Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. In a news release, Agrium stated company officials expect the deal to close by the end of the third quarter, following regulatory review. The deal does not involve any of Cargill’s agriculture retail sites in Canada. Cargill operates 57 AgHorizons retail locations in Canada and 34 are attached to Cargill grain elevators. Reuters says the deal marks the latest transformative move for privately held Cargill, which is refocusing its operations by exiting some lower-margin businesses and expanding into higher-margin endeavors.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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