China on GMO Seeds; Perdue on USDA Cuts
**A recently announced agreement between the U.S. and China has been hailed as a huge win for U.S. beef because China promised to follow through on a longstanding commitment to open its market to U.S. imports.
But just as important to companies seeking to commercialize genetically modified seeds was China’s promise to review eight traits that have been waiting as long as 70 months for final approval.
China’s National Biosafety Committee plans to meet this month to examine the eight pending U.S. biotech product applications.
**US Meat Export Federation CEO Phil Seng says there’s no bigger beef supplier than the United States.
Seng says we’ve eclipsed our competitors in this regard, so with the increased production, the export portion of the whole beef complex is pulling its weight.
First quarter volume of beef exports to Japan is up 41 % compared to a year ago. Globally, the U.S. is exporting 15 % more beef with a value 19 % greater.
**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue backed away from significant cuts in President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget, affirming that crop insurance and other farm programs are “extremely important.”
Perdue is specifically NOT defending Trump’s proposals to cut crop insurance by $29 billion over 10 years and to eliminate the $1.7 billion Food for Peace program.
Perdue also emphasized he’s only been on the job for five weeks and needed to review key budget provisions, including the proposed cut of about 55-hundred USDA jobs.