policy

What are the Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability?

Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops

This comprehensive report from the National Academy of Sciences aims to provide an in-depth analysis, a report of its findings, and offer recommendations on the issues and opportunities.

In general, the committee finds that genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops in conventional agriculture. However, the benefits have not been universal; some may decline over time; and the potential benefits and risks associated with the future development of the technology are likely to become more numerous as it is applied to a greater variety of crops. The social effects of agricultural biotechnology have largely been unexplored, in part because of an absence of support for research on them.

From the report (p. 213), there are five key challenges facing genetically engineered crops:

  • The success of genetic-engineering technology in the United States has altered the seed industry by spurring consolidation of firms and integration with the chemical industry.
  • How the intensive use of current and prospective GE organisms will directly affect the natural environment differently from other agricultural production systems is incompletely understood.
  • Progress in developing GE varieties for most “minor” crops (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and for other “public goods” purposes not served well by private markets has been slow.
  • The presence of transgenic material in non-GE products should be addressed.
  • U.S. farmers who grow GE crops may face market restrictions from some countries or retail firms on the importation or sale of the crops or products made from the crops.

What Are Global Perspectives on Commodity Price Spikes?


Photo AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File

The Diane Rehm Show brought together four experts on world economies and agriculture to address the current commodity prices and their impact on food, fuel, and fiber.

100 Questions That Can Change Agriculture


Many organizations are stating that by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on Earth and that agriculture must change to be able to produce enough food for this growing population.

 

Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century.

The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture is the result of research and focused conversations about the global issues, agriculture, and being able to meet the food needs of the world.

 

The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.

How Will Corn and Ethanol Play in 2011?

Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, provides an in-depth pork industry economic update, from the Swine Forecast 2011 webinar, December 1, 2010.

Key factors for 2011: Ethanol and biofuels policy; Grains and costs of production; Policy decisions; Macro-economic situation – esp. $US; Last month’s elections

What Is The Future of Pork Industries?


Dr. Roger Campbell, Pork Cooperative Research Center (CRC), share an international perspective on the the future of the pork industries, from the Swine Forecast 2011 webinar, December 1, 2010.

Continue to enhance efficiency of production and actively address likelihood of increasing and volatile feed costs; Exploit growing global demand for pork and cost advantages – more exports and better understanding global customer demands; Be aware of growing welfare and environmental concerns – they are likely to affect all countries directly and indirectly.

How Technology and Ag Come Together


With the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act moving forward to law, technology companies are lining up to help implement the details. Much of the legislation is all about collecting, tracking, and analysis of data and information on food. This includes putting in place systems to register food facilities, collect and monitor data from production farms, notify multiple parties about food related issues, and handle food recalls.

What is Next For GIPSA and the Poultry Industry?

Now that the comment period for the GIPSA Rule is over, farmers, ranchers, producers, and industry partners are pondering what the USDA will do.

Proposals include: setting a pay scale for poultry growers, putting tighter controls on contracts that require farmers to make costly upgrades, and making it easier for farmers to sue poultry companies over contract violations. The USDA was empowered to create new poultry contract rules by the 2008 Farm Bill.

Farming Business Under DOJ & USDA Review


The Departments of Justice and Agriculture are holding their final workshop to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. This final workshop will focus on margins.

According to the DOJ

This workshop will look at the discrepancies between the prices received by farmers and the prices paid by consumers. As a concluding event, discussions from previous workshops will be incorporated into the analysis of agriculture markets nationally.

This all day event wraps up a series of workshops that began in March of 2010. The four previous workshops covered Issues of Concern to Farmers, the Poultry Industry, the Dairy Industry, and the Livestock Industry.

Congress: Should Ethanol Subsities Be Extended?

The heat is on again in the U.S. Congress to take action before the end of the year. Next on the list is whether or not to extend the ethanol subsidies.

First up to bat in the debate are Senators Dianne Feinstein and Jon Kyl calling for end end to the ethanol subsidies.

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