Memphis Meats – February 25, 2019

Memphis Meats will start small when it gets regulatory green light

Chief executive Uma Valeti says Memphis Meats, the self-declared leader in a worldwide race to develop cell-based meat, “will be ready to go to market tomorrow,” albeit on a small scale, once the U.S. regulatory framework is in place. “Selling even the first plate of meat to a consumer is a big deal,” said Valeti.

China will buy 8 percent of U.S. soybean crop, says Trump administration

President Trump put his weight behind an announcement that China, amid negotiations to end the trade war, committed to buy 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. The decision, announced on social media by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday, would more than double Chinese purchases this marketing year.


Soda tax ‘major success’ in Berkeley (San Francisco Chronicle): Soda consumption in Berkeley, the first city in the nation to approve a tax on sugary beverages, fell by one-half during a three-year period, according to a study that was among the first to document a long-term change in habits from a voter-approved citywide levy.

Panelists named for 2020 Dietary Guidelines (USDA): The HHS and USDA appointed a 20-member panel of experts to advise on the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, updated every five years.

Farming sun instead of soil (Washington Post): Thanks to a state law that promotes renewable energy, Illinois farmers are planting solar panels on some of the most productive cropland in the country as a hedge against climate change and volatile commodity markets.

Glyphosate persists longer than expected in forest (Vancouver Sun): The weedkiller glyphosate typically breaks down within months, but a Canadian researcher found unexpected levels of the chemical in shoots and berries of plants that survived aerial application of the herbicide in a commercial forest.

Farmworker wages rise rapidly (USDA): Pay rates for farmworkers climbed three times faster than those of non-farm workers from 2014-18 when adjusted for inflation, the fastest increase in a four-year period in the past two decades and evidence of a tight labor supply.


– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks at School Nutrition Association’s annual Legislative Action Conference, 2:45 p.m. ET, Marriott Marquis Hotel, Washington.

– Stephen Benjamin, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, is breakfast speaker at the Food Research and Action Center’s annual National Anti-Hunger Conference, Shoreham Hotel. Luncheon panelists include Mark Knott, president of Feeding America and Diane, Yentel, chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

-Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky is keynote speaker at the International Sweetener Colloquium, sponsored by the Sweetener Users Association and International Dairy Food Association, 8 a.m. ET, Aventura, Florida.

– National Association of State Departments of Agriculture hosts annual winter policy conference, through Wednesday, Arlington. Speakers include APHIS administrator Kevin Shea on Tuesday, with panel discussions on cell-based meat, trade with China, and food innovation on Tuesday. A panel on cannabis is scheduled for Wednesday.

– National Potato Council hosts Potato Fly-In, to discuss federal food policy and to speak to lawmakers, through Thursday, Washington.

– National Grocers Association exposition, through Wednesday, San Diego.

– Residents of Toledo vote on a Lake Erie Bill of Rights initiative intended to create leverage against runoff and industrial waste in the lake.

– USDA hosts listening session on farm bill implementation, 9 a.m. USDA South Building. The USDA says the session will be webcast.

– The WTO committee on agriculture meets with U.S. officials expecting “robust discussion” of U.S. and Canadian calculations that indicate India’s price supports for five pulses — chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans, and lentils — far exceed levels permitted under world trade rules, through Wednesday, Geneva.

– USDA issues monthly State Stories. “This full-text file contains reports, issued monthly during the winter months, listing an assessment of winter weather on crops, livestock, fruit trees; consideration for moisture, snow cover, temperatures, and crop condition; and the effect of weather, insects, diseases, etc., on crops and livestock.”

– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is lead witness at a House Agriculture Committee hearing, “The state of the rural economy,” 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth. The hearing will be preceded by a committee vote on the annual “budget letter” of suggestions to the House Budget Committee on funding levels for USDA programs in the upcoming fiscal year.

– FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb is lead witness at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, “Food and Drug Administration — Status of operations,” 2 p.m. ET, 2362-A Rayburn.

– Administrator Mark Green is lead witness at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, “Oversight of U.S. Agency for International Development programs and policies,” 10 a.m. ET, 2359 Rayburn.

– Farm groups representing corn, wheat, soybean and sorghum host Commodity Classic, a combination of annual organizational meetings and a trade show, through Saturday, Orlando.

– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is lead witness at Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, “Implementing the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” 9:30 a.m. ET, 328A Russell.

– USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices, semiannual Cattle inventory report and annual Sheep and Goats report, 3 p.m. ET. The Cattle inventory and the Sheep and Goats report were delayed from Jan. 31 by the partial federal shutdown.

– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is keynote speaker at Commodity Classic, a jointly sponsored convention for corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers, Orlando.

– Final day of 90-day pause for Sino-U.S. negotiations to resolve trade war.

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