Perdue says ‘Tough Year’ – February 4, 2020

‘Tough year,’ says Perdue as USDA boosts trade-war payments to $14.5 billion


At the same time he saluted the de-escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Monday the release of $3.6 billion in trade-war payments to farmers and ranchers. The money will raise the total payments on 2019 production to $14.5 billion.


UK’s Johnson opens door to GMO foods from the U.S., as he seeks trade deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wasted no time, after officially exiting the European Union last Friday, in courting a bilateral trade deal with America, decrying “hysterical” fears about U.S. food standards such as genetically-modified crops, The Guardian reported.


USDA has chronic data issues, experts say

During the Trump administration, the USDA has repeatedly rolled out policies and program changes without accurate data, a report from Politico found. From trade war bailouts to cutting food stamp benefits to relocating essential USDA agencies, several members of Congress, experts, and former USDA officials say the department is playing loose with facts to move its agenda forward.

Talks & Eats – Manhattan – Surf ‘n’ Turf: Can our seafood survive Big Ag and climate change?

As oceans warm, our major fisheries are shifting. At the same time, farm runoff is contributing to dead zones from the Gulf of Mexico to Long Island. Both of these issues – climate change and farming practices – affect the health of ocean ecosystems and, ultimately, the seafood that winds up on our plates.


Join moderator and best-selling author Paul Greenberg for a stimulating discussion Feb. 10, 2020, 7:30 p.m., at Subculture in Greenwich Village. VIP reception with drinks and bites beforehand.


A Texas community chokes on fecal dust from cattle feedlots

Cattle outnumber people 40 to one in Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle, giving the county seat of Hereford its title as the “beef capital of the world.” But the area is also a hotspot of citizen complaints about manure dust storms created when fierce winds hit feedlots housing tens of thousands of animals, according to the latest story written by Chris Collins and produced in collaboration with The Texas Observer and Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.



China trade deal delay ahead? (Bloomberg): The coronavirus outbreak in China could delay the country’s purchases of U.S. farm products under the trade deal agreed to by President Trump and the Chinese government in mid-January.

Millennials haven’t killed coffee creamer (Wall Street Journal): Food companies are attempting to meet higher demand for coffee creamers among young shoppers by adding plant-based dairy alternatives and novelty flavors to their lineups.

Crabs face climate change (OPB): A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that ocean acidification is already degrading the shells of Dungeness crab, much sooner than scientists expected.

Blockchain for U.S. food exports? (Yahoo Finance): The Food Safety and Inspection Service is working with IBM to determine if blockchain can help it certify that U.S. food exports are “up to snuff.”

Impossible Food’s scatological Super Bowl ad spat (CNET): A TV ad during the game claimed the Impossible Burger contains laxatives, so Impossible fired back on YouTube, saying meat contains feces.

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