Agriculture Science, Computers & Technology

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Canadian Province Finalizes Neonic Reduction Rule

The Canadian province of Ontario has issued its final regulations under the Ontario Pesticides Act aimed at reducing the area planted with maize and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides. These changes have...more

Visa Processing Nearly Back Online After Critical Hardware Failure, but Bottleneck May Take Weeks to Clear

After a major hardware failure on June 9th that created significant delays in processing and issuing visas, the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) for U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide is nearly back online. As of...more

System Glitch Leads To Freeze On US Travel Visas

Since June 9th a computer glitch has stalled visa processing at U.S. embassies all over the world. The hardware malfunction has kept crucial biometrics information (including fingerprints) from reaching foreign U.S....more

FDA Gives Food Industry Three Years to Phase Out Partially Hydrogenated Oils from Food Products

On June 16, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") issued a declaratory order, requiring a phasing out of the use of partially hydrogenated oils ("PHOs"). In its order, the FDA stated that partially hydrogenated oils...more

Venture Capital Coast to Coast – June 2015

As we reported in January 2015, 2014 was a banner year for venture capital on all fronts, from fundraising, to investment and exits – save, however, for the small drop in the number of deals versus the largest aggregate...more

Joint working group launches pilot project for the privatization of State-owned agricultural enterprises (Ukrainian)

According to the information published on the official web-site of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the State Property Fund of Ukraine and the Fund for...more

Joint working group launches pilot project for the privatization of State-owned agricultural enterprises

According to the information published on the official web-site of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the State Property Fund of Ukraine and the Fund for...more

Glitch in State Department Systems Causing Worldwide Visa Issuance Delays

U.S. embassies and consulates abroad recently suspended issuing any U.S. visas as a result of worldwide technical issues with State Department computer systems. These technical problems cause considerable delays to foreign...more

Release of Personal Information Called ‘Unlawful’ and a ‘Threat to Privacy’ in Appeals Brief

After a federal district court dismissed a case filed against the EPA, thereby upholding the validity of the EPA's public release of personal information about farmers and their families, the American Farm Bureau Federation...more

3 Vetoes; 2 Hearing Rooms; 1 Month ‘Til Shutdown

Vetoed Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two more budget bills (he vetoed E-12 last week) over the last weekend. The latest vetoes mean there are even more issues for legislators and the Governor to resolve in a Special Session. No...more

EPA Issues Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products published in the Federal Register on May 29, 2015, seeks comment on a proposal to adopt mandatory...more

GMOs at the Ballot Box: the Drama Continues

Joining the rising tide of local GMO legislation, last week voters in Benton County, Oregon defeated the Benton County Local Food System Ordinance, which would have prohibited the cultivation of GMO crops in the county. The...more

Antimicrobial Sales and Distribution Information FDA Proposes To Be Collected by Animal Species

On May 19, 2015, FDA published in the Federal Register proposed a rule to collect antimicrobial sales and distribution data by major food animal species (cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys). The purpose of the rule is to...more

FDA Proposes New Expansive Animal Drug Antimicrobial Reporting Regulations

On May 20, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) proposed new regulations implementing the annual reporting requirements that were originally enacted by Congress in section 105 of the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments...more

FAA grants exemption for large crop-spraying unmanned aircraft

On May 1, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., a commercial exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 for flights of its RMax Type II G unmanned...more

Transgenic Salmon: A Primer on FDA Food Safety Regulations

When Meriwether Lewis tasted his first roasted morsel of a fresh Chinook salmon at a Shoshone camp along the Lemhi River (in modern day Idaho), he ate it with “very good relish.” It convinced him that “we were on the waters...more

Can One Bad Apple Spoil the Bunch?

According to their recent press release, Intrexon Corp (NYSE:XON) recently purchased a Canadian specialty food producer, namely Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., the inventor of the “Arctic®” apple. ...more

U.S. House Committee on Agriculture - Mandatory Biotechnology Labeling Laws

Purpose - The purpose of this hearing was to examine the costs and impacts of mandatory biotechnology labeling laws. Members Present - Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson, and Representatives Davis (IL),...more

Recent Studies and Reports on Pollinators: (1) New University of Maryland Report Indicates Neonicotinoids Not Primarily...

Recently, the results of a three-year University of Maryland study assessing the potential chronic sublethal effects on whole honey bee colonies of a diet containing imidacloprid, an insecticide that belongs to the...more

USDA NOP Releases New Policy Memo on Nanotechnology

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) issued on March 24, 2015, a policy memorandum clarifying the status of nanotechnology in organic production and handling under the USDA organic...more

Industrialization Of Biology Report Released By The National Academies

On March 13, 2015, the National Academies issued Industrialization Of Biology: A Roadmap To Accelerate The Advanced Manufacturing Of Chemicals, a 143-page report prepared in response to a request from the U.S. Department of...more

Biofuel Legislation In Minnesota Criticized For Focus On Corn

The Bioeconomy Coalition of Minnesota is advocating strongly for two bills in the state that if passed would result in a two-year, $5 million production incentive for producers, and a capital loan equipment program. ...more

New Canadian Law Strengthens Plant Breeders’ Rights

In Canada, plant breeders’ rights are a form of intellectual property under the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act of 1990. The intent of the 1990 act was to encourage plant breeding in Canada by strengthening the protections for new...more

The Plant Variety Protection Act—An Increasingly Important Form of Intellectual Property Protection for Plants

As part of their treaty obligations in establishing International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), member countries have enacted laws that provide ‘‘Plant Breeders’ Rights’’ for protecting the...more

EU Passes Controversial Directive Concerning GMOs

On March 2, 2015, European Union (EU) Ministers approved a Directive previously approved by the European Parliament with regard to genetically modified organisms (GMO). ...more

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