From proof of health benefits to reports on canola production in Canada, Australia and Brazil to ways to improve growing canola in various U.S. regions, the 5th National Canola Research Conference (NCRC) “planted” great facts and stats in Baltimore, Md., Nov. 5-6, 2018. It was held again in conjunction with the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) Annual Meetings. Here’s a round-up of some presentations:
On Nov. 19, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a qualified health claim that consuming the monounsaturated fat oleic acid in edible oils, such as high-oleic canola oil, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. After reviewing available scientific evidence, the FDA now allows the use of the following two claims associating consumption of edible oils containing at least 70 percent of oleic acid per serving and reduced risk of heart disease:
With several races still too close to call while absentee ballots are counted, Democrats added a net of at least 28 House seats, giving them a majority of 223 in the 435-member chamber. As a result, it is expected that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will again be elected Speaker when members of the new Congress return to Washington next week.
In the last five years or so, the way canola is harvested has shifted dramatically. Canola has traditionally been cut with a swather and placed in a windrow to cure and dry down the seed. But today, with pod shatter-resistant varieties and overall varietal improvement in shatter tolerance, straight-cutting canola is more popular than ever.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) was active last summer in urging Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to increase biomass-based diesel and advanced volumes and accurately account for small refinery hardship exemptions in the annual Renewable Fuel Standards. We thanked the 39 senators who sent a letter to the EPA in support of these goals. A special shout-out goes to Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for leading the letter along with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and John Hoeven (R-ND) for signing on.
With the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 on Sept. 30, time will run out on the Agricultural Act of 2014. Major programs, including crop insurance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), will continue because they are permanently authorized and funded. The 2014 Act also provides funding through the marketing year for 2018 program crops, but the dairy program will expire at the end of December. While the Conservation Reserve Program is permanently funded, its authority will lapse in October, meaning that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will honor existing contracts but not be able to enter into new ones. Read More »
NO EVIDENCE OF CANOLA OIL’S LINK TO ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN HUMANS
Small Study in Mice Does Not Negate Oil’s Safety and Healthfulness
WASHINGTON, DC — Independent scientists assure consumers that they can “forget” about misleading reports originating from a Dec. 7 study on canola oil and Alzheimer’s disease by Temple University researchers as the data do not support negative claims about the oil. The links between canola oil and weight gain, worsened memory and dementia in humans suggested by this 22-mouse study are unfounded, notes the non-profit U.S. Canola Association. Here’s why:
The U.S. Canola Association cautions consumers about the misinterpretation of results in the study, “Effect of canola oil consumption on memory, synapse and neuropathology in the triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease,” by Elisabetta Lauretti and Dominico Pratico at Temple University. It was published Dec. 7 in Scientific Reports – an online, open access journal.
The study was conducted using a mouse model; it was not a human clinical trial. Specifically, mice were genetically engineered to develop three characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD): memory impairment, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.
The 20th Annual Canola Expo of the National Canola Growers Association will be Tuesday, Dec. 5 in Langdon. It will feature one of the most engaging and powerful agricultural speakers in the country, Bruce Vincent, along with leading canola agronomists. Vincent is a compelling “tell-it-like-is” motivational speaker who has appeared on news shows such as “60 Minutes” and traveled the world speaking on agricultural issues. His keynote speech is entitled “With Vision, There is Hope.” Other presentations at the Canola Expo will address clubroot and other canola diseases, planting rates and cooking with canola oil. Grower will receive a free lunch and the opportunity to win door prizes.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) elected former U.S. Canola Association (USCA) President Ryan Pederson last week to its governing board. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Nov. 30 the required volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2018-19: 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel for 2019, which is level with 2018 volume requirements and less than the 2.5 billion gallons the NBB and USCA were seeking. The NBB expressed disappointment with the flatline RFS volumes and missed opportunity to promote growth in biodiesel production. The USCA will continue to support the biodiesel industry’s efforts under the Trump administration, including pushing to have the biodiesel tax credit reinstated and included in a year-end tax extenders package, separate from the comprehensive tax reform bill.
As talks continue on the 2018 Farm Bill, the current state of the U.S. farm economy has prompted farm organizations to encourage the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to write the legislation in a way that helps farmers better respond to shifting market conditions. These tactics range in their scope and approach, but all involve the same concept: increased spending.