The Senate approved legislation on June 24 granting President Obama enhanced negotiating powers to complete a major Pacific trade accord, including with canola trading partners Japan and Canada, according to The New York Times. The vote, 60 to 38, represents a win for one of Obama’s top legislative priorities in his final years in office and sends the bill to his desk for signature. This so-called Trade Promotion Authority limits Congress to an up or down vote, but no amendments can be made on any trade agreements negotiated by the White House.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that artificial trans fat – found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to extend shelf life in some food products and chain restaurant menu items – must be removed from all products over the next three years, according to NBCNews.com. Such trans fat increases the risk of heart disease. "In this case, it has become clear that what's good for extending shelf life is not equally good for extending human life," said an FDA spokeswoman. While the agency estimates that 80 percent of trans fat has already been removed, there is still a ways to go. Liquid cooking oils, such as canola oil, are healthy alternatives to sources of trans fat and saturated fat.
Of the 17,420 canola-producing U.S. farms that elected for either Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) protection under the 2014 Farm Bill, the overwhelming majority (97.3%) opted for the PLC option, reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The ARC-County option was chosen by 2.2 percent of canola farms, while 0.5 percent selected the ARC-Individual option. The election deadline to sign up for coverage was March 31, and farmers are locked into the choice for five years.