China warns of ‘countermeasures’ if U.S. tariffs rise
On Wednesday, the Trump administration turned a weekend threat into a promise of sharply higher tariffs on Chinese products and Beijing declared it would take the “necessary countermeasures” — all on the day before ministerial-level talks to resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war were set to resume.
While EPA ponders, California will ban insecticide chlorpyrifos
California environmental regulators announced on Wednesday that the state will prohibit use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, a process that could take two years to complete. Even as California acted, the U.S. EPA was facing a court-imposed deadline of mid-July to decide on a federal ban of the pesticide.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Only cage-free eggs in Washington (Humane Society): Washington State passed a law phasing out the sale of eggs from caged hens by 2023, regardless of where the eggs were produced.
Saving Vermont’s bees (Friends of the Earth): The state passed a law banning consumer use of pollinator-harming neonicotinoid pesticides.
Bleak forecast for rural America (The Conversation): Job loss and out-migration are paring the population of small urban areas and the rural counties linked to them, writes an economist at Iowa State University.
Deadly virus stalks tilapia (South China Morning Post): Tilapia, second to carp as the world’s most widely farmed fish, is imperiled by a highly contagious virus first discovered in 2014. It is now found in 14 countries, mostly in Asia but including Mexico.
A rebound for Brazil’s corn crop (AgriCensus): Near-ideal growing conditions in April prompted consultancy Agrural to raise its estimate of Brazil’s corn crop to 99 million tonnes, which would be a significant increase from the weather-damaged crop of 2017/18.
Former corn-syrup lobbyist updating dietary rules (Los Angeles Times): Development of the 2020 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans “is being overseen to a large extent” by Kailee Tkacz, a former lobbyist for the Corn Refiners Association.