Food and Ag in 2 Minutes

Food and Ag in 2 Minutes

By Ag Desk   
      Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes


Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes

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National Review contributor Julie Kelly says consumers should be wary of imported organic produce, because she claims the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification label is unreliable and unenforceable, as prohibited pesticides are often used on imported goods. Kelly urges Congress and the Trump administration to continue looking at trade agreements that hurt American farmers and hopes they will overturn the organic import certification, or what she calls a scam operation.

In biotech news, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications heralds the success of a GM cassava trial in Uganda, which used biotech tools to transform a farmer preferred variety of the plant to resist cassava brown streak, one of the most pressing challenges for cassava production. The ISAAA notes that Uganda has tested GM cassava since 2010 with great progress, and is hopeful that this could help food security.

Meanwhile in the U.S., Michael Stebbins of Biotechnology Innovation Organization reminds the public that, contrary to popular belief, only nine genetically modified crops are available on the U.S. market today, with GM apples becoming available in some markets on October 1st. Stebbins contradicts common misconceptions that seedless watermelon and gigantic pumpkins are GMOs, urging the public to learn more about biotech from trustworthy scientific sources.

Education was also a priority for The Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship and Syngenta, as they announced the release of the informational film “Pollinators and Pesticide Stewardship.” The film showcases the best management practices for protecting pollinators, such as reading and following pesticide label instructions and using integrated pest management. With goals of increased farmer education and proactive pesticide stewardship, the film is the result of a long collaboration between Syngenta and The Coalition.

I’m Maya Menon for the Food and Ag report in Washington.

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