Food and Agriculture in 2 Minutes
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In an op-ed for The Hill, Bernard Goldstein argues the European Union’s use of the Precautionary Principle is hurting US agricultural producers. The University of Pennsylvania professor explains that the principle enables the EU to impose unfair restrictions on US agriculture practices such as GMO grain and beef from cattle treated with growth hormones. Noting the EU’s regulation also negatively impacts other nations, Goldstein asserts it’s both in America’s and the world’s interest to support the reversal of EU agricultural trade barriers.
In related European agricultural news, French President Macron has received media criticism for his stance on the popular herbicide glyphosate. Late last year, Macron claimed the substance would be banned entirely in three years, but many critics argue a ban would cost more than a billion euros and stunt the French economy. Due to fierce backlash from the French agriculture sector, Macron recently assured farmers that a ban would not be imposed without a reliable substitute.
Elsewhere, GMO Pundit David Tribe says the rise of anti-science movement in Russia is partly due to Lysenkoism, a method of inserting ideology into scientific discussions. He reports that Russia has seen an increase in non-peer-reviewed media influence that is disrupting global trade in agricultural products. Similarly, an op-ed for the Washington Examiner claims this spread of misinformation regarding food safety by Russia is as concerning as the reported Russian interference in regional politics, and asserts it requires equal attention.
Meanwhile, Florida Grower editor Frank Giles voices support for legislation that strengthens organic certification to dissuade fraud in organic marketing. Writing for Growing Produce, Giles notes that more than 82% of US households purchase organic. To protect these customers and farmers in light of reports of fraudulent imported organic grain and feed, he amplifies a call for increased taxpayer funds allocated to oversight and modernization of tracking. The Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act would nearly double the budget for USDA and is pending before Congress.
Maya Menon, Washington.