AG/FDA Blog

Opinion: The Obesity Equation Calories in; Calories Out

During this Holiday Season, we all enjoy those extra calories and special desserts. It is part of giving thanks and enjoying family. There is no need to give that up, but let’s also keep an eye on the obesity equation. Food labeling regulations an…
Categories: Public Policy, USDA

USTR Requests Comments on Negotiating Objectives for Potential Deals with UK, EU & Japan

As the Trump administration moves forward with its trade agenda focused on bilateral agreements, the Office of the U. S. Trade Representative (USTR) has invited comments from stakeholders on potential trade agreements with the post-Brexit

Report from Uganda

Uganda is in the final stages of debating biosafety legislation that will make it possible for the country to begin using genetically modified (GM) agricultural plants, such as bacterial wilt-resistant bananas, brown streak virus-resistant cassavas a…

Mid-Term and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Yes, I have something to say about the mid-term elections, and I will get to that in a minute.  But first, we have been worried about the trade disputes with China and how their tariffs have cost us.  Finall…
Categories: Public Policy, USDA

Opinion: The EU Gene-Editing Decision: Parliament Should Not Let it Stand

The European Union Court of Justice’s (ECJ) recent decision that new gene-editing techniques must go through the same lengthy approval process as traditional transgenic genetically modified (GM) plants has sent shock waves around the world and its…

Opinion: Africa Rising

In the two years since the last African agriculture forum in Ethiopia, the momentum has fundamentally changed. The pace of advancement has quickened significantly; the world has discovered that Africa is the future. That was sure the impression one…

Labor Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block It’s hard to believe, but summer is all but gone. We are looking at harvest season. Get that combine ready to go. Labor Day is next Monday. Speaking of Labor Day, I want to say how much respect I have for the…
Categories: Public Policy, USDA

Jack Block: This and That August 2018

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Good news – ethanol exports are up 33% so far this year.  By year’s end, we should exceed last year’s record of 1.38 billion gallons. Turn to hogs – we have raised hogs on my farm all my life.  I know…

Jack Block: Farm Bill

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block The current Farm Bill runs out at the end of September. Will we get a new one? If so, when? Thanks to the efforts of Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow, they have nego…

Jack Block: This and That July 2018

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block I’m going to focus on some different issues today. Trade is in the spotlight. We can only encourage the U.S. and the countries that we have challenged – Canada, Mexico, EU, and China – to sit down and neg…

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