A roundup of news, reports and research on agribusiness and related issues. 

Democratic presidential candidates take aim at agriculture-related issues | New Food Economy

Last weekend, farmers across the Midwest and beyond, gathered for the Heartland Forum held in Storm Lake, Iowa. Many Democratic presidential hopefuls – Elizabeth Warren, John Delaney and Amy Klobuchar pitched their ideas on a variety of agriculture-related topics, such as ways to fix the American food system and what the future could look like in rural America.

Monsanto must pay $80 million in RoundUp trial | PHYS.ORG

A California court recently penalized Bayer’s Monsanto for its potentially cancer-causing weedkiller, RoundUp. The jury found the company “negligent by not using reasonable care,” failing to warn users about potential risks. The court has ordered Monsanto to pay Edwin Hardeman $75 million in damages and roughly $5 million in compensation. Hardeman has accused the company of causing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma through his use RoundUp.

Bayer recently asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permission to spray the pesticide, dicamba, on up to 90 million acres of corn as well as establish levels of residue from the pesticide on food.

Meanwhile, a new bill , H.R. 1783: Keep Food Safe from Glyphosate Act of 2019, was introduced in March to set a tolerance for glyphosate residue on oats, prohibit the use of glyphosate on oats before harvest and require annual testing of the pesticide on foods most likely consumed by infants and children.   This follows a report last year by the Environmental Working Group that found glyphosate residue in oat-based foods, such as Cheerio’s.

Smithfield Foods and United Wind will begin to facilitate on-site wind energy to farms in Colorado | Feedstuffs

Over 50 wind turbines will soon power farms across the state of Colorado. Joined by United Wind, a wind energy developer, Smithfield Foods aims to generate more on-site wind energy. Wind energy is a low-cost renewable energy and the partnership aims to reduce greenhouse emissions by 25 percent over the next six years.

Cargill Inc. may invest as much as $1 billion in Latin America | Reuters

According to Cargill Inc. CEO David MacLennan, Latin America offers a promising environment for private investors. Over the next five years, the big ag company plans to invest $1 billion in operations in places such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. The decision comes at a time when Venezuela faces political and economic hardships.

Japan will begin selling gene-edited food across the country | Science Mag

In Japan, consumers will soon be able to purchase gene-edited food and other goods for consumption, these products will be sold without safety evaluations. If the gene-editing techniques used on such products meet certain standards and recommendations, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare will give their approval. The regulation of gene-edited food is highly controversial. In the United States, the USDA concluded gene-edited food would not be subject to regulation. But in the European Union, gene-edited crops currently need to undergo a process of approval similar to traditional crops.

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