Agriculture Science, Computers & Technology

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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

USDA Amends BCAP

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to implement changes required by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to owners...more

BRDI Grants For Science And Engineering Research

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is accepting research and education grant applications for projects to integrate science and engineering research in...more

New Rule Ahead for Farm Animal Antibiotics

A new rule concerning the use of antibiotics on farm animals is nearly finalized. The rule will require producers and distributors of antibiotic products to work more closely with veterinarians to determine whether...more

Unauthorized Use of Patented Grape Plants Not an Invalidating Public Use - Delano Farms Co. v. California Table Grape Comm’n

Addressing the issue of public use under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) in the context of an unauthorized use open to the public, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s finding that the actions of...more

Food Safety & Nutrition

The regulatory and legislative outlook for Food Safety and Nutrition is, compared to other more contentious and politicized issues, fairly robust for the next two years. At the federal agencies, there will be continued...more

NASDA Supports National Uniform Labeling Policy for Genetically Modified Foods

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) passed a resolution to support a national uniform labeling policy for genetically modified foods (GMO). The purpose of this resolution is to have a uniform...more

EFSA Scientific Network of Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed Publishes 2014 Annual Report

On February 16, 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the 2014 annual report of the EFSA Scientific Network of Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed, which is intended to inform the public...more

Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd v The Queen, 2015 TCC 32 - The Tax Court Considers Fundamental SR&ED Principles

Bennett Jones LLP represented Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd. (FHMS) in the recent Tax Court of Canada proceeding, Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd v The Queen (2015 TCC 32). The case concerned certain...more

State of the GMO Union

Just how hot is GMO-labeling legislation? On Jan. 6, 2015, a Republican state senator introduced just such a bill - in Indiana, the nation’s breadbasket. Still, federal legislation on both sides of the issue has stalled, the...more

More GMO Woes: Another Corn Exporter Sues Syngenta for its Failure to Isolate its GMO Corn

Last month, Archer Daniels Midland Co. (“ADM”) joined a slew of corn exporters and other stakeholders who have sued Syngenta based on allegations that China rejected these exporters’ products because Syngenta’s genetically...more

USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable...more

Seeds Worth More than Gold

Plant Breeders are Learning the Value of Protecting Their Inventions - Agricultural espionage: it’s not exactly the stuff of John le Carré novels. But recently a Chinese woman was charged in a plot to steal U.S. corn...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 11/14

EPA Proposes To Remove 72 Chemicals From Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredients List: On October 22, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its...more

Why Plant Patenting Floats Free of GMO Crop Controversies

Public debates about the merits of genetically modified crops often end in polarized shouting matches. They pit so-called “romantic environmentalists” against scientifically-minded advocates for companies that derive their...more

The State and Local Regulatory Landscape for Bioengineered Plants

Across the country, numerous state and local governments have enacted or are considering laws affecting the cultivation, use, and labeling of genetically engineered plants (“GMOs”). These laws are best described in three...more

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