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FDA Revamps Rules for Food Ingredients Recognized as Safe

The Food and Drug Administration issued final rules today updating how the agency determines a substance used in food to be “generally recognized as safe,” known by the shorthand GRAS. Unlike food additives, substances determined to be GRAS are not subject to pre-market approval by regulators, thought they must meet the same safety standards as additives.

Court Upbraids EPA for Delays on Pesticide Ban

The Ninth Circuit scoffed Friday at the latest attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to drag its heels on banning a dangerous pesticide. "EPA's nine-year delay in taking action was 'objectively extreme' when we received [the] petition for mandamus, and nothing has changed that would justify EPA's continued failure to respond to the pressing health concerns presented by chlorpyrifos," the 4-page order states.       Chlorpyrifos, introduced in 1965, is widely used to control pests that threaten more than 60 crops including almonds, walnuts, oranges, cotton and grapes.

Opinion: Trade Agreements: Good or Bad?

Those who forget the lessons of history are potentially destined to repeat the mistakes of the past. About 90 years ago, the U.S. economy was operating at full speed and labeled the “Roaring Twenties” in the post-World War I era. At this same time, Europe's economy was recovering from the wartime devastation and started producing again. Global overproduction emerged. This was particularly true for those in agriculture. Back then, agriculture and the rural economy was a larger part of the general economy.

Britain's Post-Brexit Promise of Farm And Science Subsidies Is Only Temporary

Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that Britain will continue to pay the usual farming and scientific subsidies beyond the time that Britain leaves the European Union. This seems sensible as it at least provides certainty in the short term. We don’t even know how long it will take to leave the EU so the promise PMSEY +% to continue the subsidies to 2020 does indeed make that sense.

ESA Takings Challenged

The Pacific Legal Foundation petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to repeal a regulation that applies the take provision of the Endangered Species Act to every threatened species listed, according to a 19-page petition.

Crushing Zika via genetically modified mosquitoes

Oxitec, the British subsidiary of Germantown, Maryland-based Intrexon, received a green light from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday to release the GMO mosquitoes as part of an investigational field trial in Key Haven in the Florida Keys. Residents of Key Haven will vote on the trial in a nonbinding referendum scheduled for November, with final approval to reside with the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board. "It couldn't have come at a better time," Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry told reporters.

FDA Releases Final Environmental Assessment for Genetically Engineered Mosquito

he FDA has completed the environmental review for a proposed field trial to determine whether the release of Oxitec Ltd.’s genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes (OX513A) will suppress the local Aedes aegypti mosquito population in the release area at Key Haven, Florida. After considering thousands of public comments, the FDA has published a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact that agrees with the EA’s conclusion that the proposed field trial will not have significant impacts on the environment.

With nearly half its food imported, who will feed Britain after 'Brexit'?

The market recently was packed with tourists taking advantage of the British pound’s slide against other currencies in the wake of the country’s vote to leave the European Union. But the vendors were not celebrating.  “Brexit” has sown deep uncertainty in Britain’s food system, which for the last 43 years has been entwined with the rest of Europe’s, relying heavily on the EU for everything from pork to peaches to farm subsidies to the labor that picks its tomatoes. Now, the country is going to have to rethink how it feeds itself, from farm to fork. But what Britain can’t do is feed itself.


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