EU dabbles in agricultural protectionism, says Perdue
European barriers to some U.S. food and ag exports — derided as “hormone beef,” “chlorine chicken,” and GMO “Frankenfoods” — smack of protectionism and could color already acrimonious U.S.-EU trade relations, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during a transatlantic discussion on Wednesday.
Advocates implore Congress to increase spending on anti-hunger programs
In a largely positive review of government programs to address mounting hunger during Covid-19, a panel of experts and advocates speaking at the National Food Security Conference on Wednesday encouraged Congress to boost spending on the anti-hunger programs it has developed since the pandemic began.
Surge in grocery prices will bring a 5 percent increase in SNAP benefits
Food stamp benefits will rise by 5.3 percent in October, to a maximum of $680 per month for a family of four in the continental United States, said the USDA Food and Nutrition Service on Wednesday. The cost-of-living adjustment was announced even as anti-hunger groups are calling for a temporary 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits during the pandemic.
As Covid-19 rises, Alaskans crowd rivers for wild salmon
“As salmon make their epic voyages from the sea to upriver spawning grounds, Alaskans crowd shorelines to catch enough fish to put up for the winter,” Miranda Weiss writes in FERN’s latest story. But the activity has taken on a new urgency this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and fears of food shortages.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Judge blocks Trump ‘public charge’ rule: U.S. district judge George Daniels, in a ruling likely to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, blocked the Trump administration from implementing its “public charge” rule during the pandemic, saying the rule might deter immigrants from seeking healthcare. (CNN)
Abuse as the visa program grows: Federal law is supposed to ensure decent working conditions, safe housing, and fair pay for workers who enter the United States through the H-2A visa program. But as the program has expanded, it has left more guest workers vulnerable to abuse — federal investigators found 12,000 violations last year. (NBC News)
Soy freighter crew has Covid: Up to 10 crew members of a freighter delivering Brazilian soybeans to China have tested positive for Covid-19, delaying the unloading of their ship and raising fears among soybean processors of exposure to the virus, said trade sources (Agricensus)
Price-fixing defendant wants to go hunting: The Justice Department filed court papers opposing a request by Claxton Poultry president Mikell Fries to go on a hunting trip to Tanzania before he faces trial on charges of conspiring to fix prices and rig poultry bids. (Food Safety News)
‘World’s largest sugar beet’: Newly installed in Sugar Beet Park, in the small town of Halstad, Minnesota, is a 21-foot-tall statue of “the world’s largest sugar beet.” The 10,000-pound monument is meant to promote the sugar beet farmers and processors of the Red River Valley. (Duluth News Tribune)