Archived Posts

News Flash: November 19, 2015


FDA Completes Long-Awaited Food-Safety Rules
The Food and Drug Administration completed long-awaited rules that give the agency sweeping oversight of the produce industry and imported foods to help avert foodborne-illness outbreaks. The regulations issued Friday moved the government closer to implementing a law passed by Congress in 2010, which marked the biggest overhaul of federal food-safety oversight in 70 years. The regulations follow a wave of deadly outbreaks in the past decade that have been traced to produce—such as tainted spinach, cantaloupe and caramel apples—and are aimed at creating a food-safety system that will be less reactive and better at preventing contamination. Wall Street Journal

China’s Hunger to Join GMO Club Revealed in Syngenta Move
To understand what could be the largest-ever takeover by a Chinese company, look no further than the changes in the nation’s diet. A successful bid by state-owned China National Chemical Corp., or ChemChina, to buy Syngenta AG, a Swiss producer of pesticides and engineered seeds, could help China combat weeds and insects with less labor as farm workers are increasingly turning to higher-paying city jobs, and after the amount of arable land has declined. At the same time, China’s growing middle class has increased its meat consumption, boosting feed-grain demands. Bloomberg Business

Do we need new labeling conventions around fully hydrogenated oils?
Fully hydrogenated oils (FHOs) do not create harmful trans-fats, and could replace partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in many applications. However, manufacturers are reluctant to use them because the word ‘hydrogenated’ has become “demonized”, argues one expert, who says efforts are underway to find an alternative name for FHOs that will satisfy manufacturers, consumers, and regulators. Food Navigator


Parliament committee won’t push for higher biofuels mandate
ALTHOUGH a parliamentary committee has admitted a 2% biofuel mandate is unlikely to boost the industry, it has not suggested an increase. AgForce and an MP have questioned the committee’s reasoning behind the recommendation in a report tabled to Queensland Parliament on November 17. AgForce grains president Wayne Newton said it clashed with the mandate’s main goal. “The main purpose is to promote regional development in Queensland,” he said. But Mr Newton said 2% was only slightly higher than current production and would not generate any extra jobs or investment in regional areas. The Dalby Bio-Refinery is only operating at 40% capacity, Katter’s Australian Party Mt Isa MP Robbie Katter said. The Chronicle


ICE canola corrects higher in early trade
WINNIPEG–ICE Canada canola contracts were posting small gains Thursday morning, recovering from overnight losses as a turn higher in the CBOT soy complex provided some underlying support. January canola touched an overnight low of C$463.10 per tonne in overnight activity, which was its weakest point since early September as speculators continue to add to their growing short positions. However, the selling backed away as exporters and domestic crushers both continue to show solid demand, according to participants. A lack of significant farmer selling also provided some support, with the onset of winter across much of Western Canada said to be limiting deliveries for the time being. Grain News


International Grains Council trims world corn crop forecast
The International Grains Council on Thursday trimmed its forecast for world corn production in 2015/16 by 3 million metric tons to 967 million metric tons, reflecting drought-related cuts to production in China, Ethiopia and South Africa. The inter-governmental body said the cuts more than offset a higher corn crop estimate for the United States. The IGC cut its forecast for China by 7 million tonnes to 220 million metruc tons, though the crop remained slightly above the previous season’s 215.6 million metric tons. Drought in parts of the corn belt in northeast China has curbed production this year. Ag Week


UPDATE 1-Palm oil seen at 2,300-2,400 rgt in Q1, El Nino impact limited-Felda CEO
Nov 18 Palm oil is expected to trade at 2,300-2,400 ringgit per tonne in the first quarter of 2016, as recent rain patterns suggest a limited impact on yields from El Nino, the chief executive of plantation firm Felda Global Ventures said. In October, Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said the El Nino weather pattern was likely to cut palm oil output in Indonesia and Malaysia by 5-6 percent in 2016 and lift prices to 2,500 ringgit ($569.74) per tonne in the first quarter. “Looking at the current rain patterns, it could be that the El Nino will come in a very subtle way, that could be a sign of increase in production in the last quarter of this year, and that will increase the stock and affect the price,” Mohd Emir told Reuters on Wednesday. Reuters

UK makes sustainable palm oil strides – but will it make its 100% certified target by 2015?
UK palm oil imports were 72% sustainable in 2014 – up from 55% in 2013, according to an annual progress report from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). In October 2012, UK associations and the government committed to “working towards” achieving 100% sourcing of “credibly certified sustainable” palm oil by the end of 2015. In its third update to the initiative released today, DEFRA gave two varying figures on progress. Food Navigator


Standard helps soybean value
California’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions could mean more value for U.S. soybeans. Biodiesel was recently given the best carbon score among all liquid fuels in California’s revised Low Carbon Fuels Standard, boosting the fuel’s demand potential in the nation’s most populated state. “California’s reaffirmation of biodiesel as a low-carbon fuel is good news for soybean farmers in the U.S.,” said Robert Stobaugh, an Arkansas soybean farmer and soybean-checkoff leader. “Biodiesel is great for the environment. This latest analysis shows that it’s almost as clean as electric.” According to California’s new standard, biodiesel reduces emission between 50 percent and 80 percent relative to conventional fuel. Agri-View