Momentum builds for year-end TPP deal: Leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks said significant progress has been made, and the 12 participating countries are "on track" to complete the negotiations by the end of this year. TPP brings together advanced and emerging economies that make up a third of global trade and 40% of global gross domestic product. According to a joint statement from TPP leaders released by the White House, negotiators have agreed to proceed to "resolve all outstanding issues with the objective of completing this year a comprehensive and balanced regional agreement that achieves the goals we established ... in 2011, ensures that the benefits of the agreement are fully shared and takes into account the diversity of our levels of development." Still, agreements in most of the sensitive areas have not been finalized. The TPP ministers and leaders met most recently in Bali, Indonesia, in early October. U.S. agricultural groups continue to call for an "ambitious" TPP agreement that eliminates tariffs and removes trade barriers. Senior trade officials and those involved in the talks added that although the timeline calls for completion by the end of the year, leaders will not sacrifice the overall goals of the deal for the sake of meeting a deadline.
Dow wins second case against Bayer: Dow AgroSciences LLC has won a second lawsuit involving its Enlist technology. In a decision issued Oct. 7, the federal court ruled that Dow has the right to sell Enlist E3 soybean seed and that Bayer CropScience's lawsuit seeking to prevent Dow from doing so must, therefore, be dismissed. In reaching its decision, the court indicated that it was unable to find objective evidence supporting Bayer's arguments. The lawsuit, initially filed in January 2012, alleged that Dow's intention to sell Enlist E3 soybean seed infringed several of Bayer's glyphosate tolerance patents. This latest decision came just five weeks after the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed Dow's summary judgment win over Bayer in the first case initiated by Bayer involving Dow's Enlist 2,4-D tolerance technology.
Oil group sues EPA over RFS levels: The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a lawsuit Oct. 8 with the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit challenging the Environment Protection Agency's renewable fuel standard (RFS) volume requirements for 2013. "EPA issued this year's requirements nine months late and has once again mandated significantly more cellulosic ethanol than is available in the marketplace," Harry Ng, API vice president and general counsel, said. The 2013 RFS volume requirements were not issued until August 2013 despite a statutory deadline of November 2012, API said. EPA also mandated that refiners use 4 million gal. of cellulosic ethanol in 2013, but only 142,000 gal. have been available for refiners to blend so far, according to EPA. Bob Dinneen, president and chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Assn., called the lawsuit frivolous and noted that although the 2013 RFS volume requirements "were issued later than anyone would have liked, the fact is that the statute is crystal clear, and all stakeholders have been producing and blending at levels that will unquestionably meet the 2013 requirements."
Donation to support dairy quality: Chobani, a yogurt manufacturer based in New Berlin, N.Y., announced a $1.5 million gift to the Cornell University department of food science to support research and workforce training in dairy quality. The gift will benefit the dairy industry through staffing and training programs that support dairy quality, leadership and innovation, Chobani said. The funding will be used to create on-site opportunities for faculty, students and staff, including food safety and quality workshops as well as graduate student support for relevant research initiatives. "This partnership will strengthen the science behind New York's dairy industry and help us better accomplish our land-grant mission to bring new information, technologies and a well-prepared workforce to this expansive industry," said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch dean of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Cornell. Chobani has nearly 3,000 employees globally and sales of more than $1 billion a year.
Forage research: Lallemand Animal Nutrition, in partnership with the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, announced the development of the Forage Center of Excellence in Chazy, N.Y., representing a significant investment in forage fermentation and microbiology research. "At the institute, we're excited about the Forage Center of Excellence because it fits hand-in-glove with our long-standing research focus on efficient forage crop use by cattle," said Dr. Rick Grant, president of the Miner Institute. "As producers strive to feed more forage to their herds, the cutting-edge research from this center will be just what they need to feed forage more profitably." The Forage Center of Excellence will serve as Lallemand's research and development hub for improving forage fermentation and management. Lallemand will have a research team at the Miner Institute focused on this research and discovery, said Dr. Bob Charley, forage products manager for Lallemand.
Listeria assay: 3M Food Safety announced the launch of its new 3M Molecular Detection Assay Listeria monocytogenes, the fourth test available in its 3M Molecular Detection System for the food and beverage industry. The assay uses isothermal amplification of nucleic acid sequences, plus bioluminescence to detect the amplification. Presumptive positive results are delivered in real time, while negative results are displayed after the assay is completed. "Listeria monocytogenes is a highly dangerous pathogen that remains a serious concern in the food processing industry, so we are pleased to offer such a simple and reliable solution for detecting it," said Niki Montgomery, global marketing and development manager for 3M Food Safety. The rapid, qualitative technology can be applied to enriched food as well as food process samples.
Heifer feeds: Purina Animal Nutrition introduced HEIFERSMART Complete Feed and HEIFERSMART Base Mix feeds. With these new additions to the HEIFERSMART Dairy Program, growth benefits achieved in calf feeding programs can be extended through breeding to the pre-fresh period, the company said. These products have been developed to address the nutritional needs of developing dairy heifers when they are transitioned to forage and pasture-based diets. Available in either pelleted or texturized forms with 18% or 22% protein levels, HEIFERSMART Complete Feeds are formulated to be fed with high-quality forage as a single-feed formula. HEIFERSMART Base Mix feeds are available with 38% or 45% protein and are designed to be added to mixed feed (both forage and on-farm grains or commodities). Both new products have been developed to provide the essential protein, energy, key vitamins and readily available minerals needed for optimal heifer growth and development, the announcement said. HEIFERSMART Complete and Base Mix feeds will be available starting Oct. 14.
Enzyme testing: AB Vista has launched two new rapid assays for its Econase XT xylanase. Developed to meet the requirements of feed manufacturers and end users that need to confirm the presence and levels of AB Vista's xylanase product in feed, the new assays overcome the problems associated with conventional laboratory-based methodologies, such as cost, time and an inability to differentiate between the target xylanase and others in the feed, the announcement said. AB Vista's new enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays use a specific monoclonal antibody to capture the active form of Econase XT, the presence and level of which is then quantified using a secondary, color-based reaction. Two versions are available: The "QuickStix" lateral-flow kit is a qualitative assay for rapid detection of commercial levels of active Econase XT, and the "QuantiPlate" micro-titre well kit allows quantification of enzyme activity over the range normally found in commercial feeds.