According to Reuters and Bloomberg, China signed agreements in Iowa to purchase biotech soybeans from American suppliers, strengthening the trade relationship between the two countries. The Wall Street Journal noted that Iowa is the nation’s biggest grower of biotech soybeans, while China is the world’s biggest importer and consumer.
The following day, Chinese and U.S. officials, including China’s Vice President Xi Jinping, attended the USDA’s first inaugural “U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium” in Des Moines. The USDA announced that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu had signed a historic Plan of Strategic Cooperation, designed to guide the two countries’ agricultural relationship over the next 5 years.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack explained, “This plan builds on the already strong relationship our nations enjoy around agricultural science, trade, and education. It looks to deepen our cooperation through technical exchange and to strengthen coordination in priority areas like animal and plant health and disease, food security, sustainable agriculture, genetic resources, agricultural markets and trade, and biotechnology and other emerging technologies.”
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
According to Western Farm Press, the USDA released data showing record agricultural exports and strong farmer income this year. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “Strong exports have enabled agriculture to remain one of only a few sectors of the U.S. economy to enjoy a trade surplus. This year’s surplus is projected at $42.5 billion-a record-and next year should be $32 billion, the third-highest.” Read more.
US farmers worldwide recognize benefits of ag biotech
The American Council on Science and Health said US farmers around the world have adopted biotech and it has revolutionized farming. The article also points out scientific research supporting the safety and nutrition benefits of biotech crops. Read more.
Iowa family farmer calls for reduced regulatory barriers to biotech crops
Tim Burrack, a corn and soybean family farmer in Iowa and board member of Truth about Trade & Technology, supports Dr. Nina Fedoroff’s op-ed in the New York Times about removing costly regulatory burdens for the approval of biotech crops. In an AgWeb blog he says, “All farmers should thank Fedoroff for her advocacy-and demand that we take back our regulatory system before it deprives us of the tools we use to produce the food that the world needs.” Read more.