U.S. soybeans hit hard by 2012 drought | Supreme Court hears arguments in Monsanto seed case | Companies partner to commercialize algae-based omega-3 products
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February 20, 2013
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Industry Update
U.S. soybeans hit hard by 2012 drought
U.S. soybean yields declined by 5% as a result of the 2012 drought, which affected more than 80% of the nation's agricultural acreage. Kansas soybean yields declined by nearly 30% from recent harvests, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Guardian (London) (2/18)
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Supreme Court hears arguments in Monsanto seed case
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a farmer's appeal of a successful Monsanto lawsuit against him for patent infringement. The suit is illustrative of a trend toward patented seed varieties and away from "public" seeds, reports Dan Charles. Nasdaq.com/Dow Jones Newswires (2/19), National Public Radio/The Salt blog (2/18)
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Companies partner to commercialize algae-based omega-3 products
Qualitas Health and Valicor Renewables have agreed to produce and market omega-3 algae oil high in eicosapentaenoic acid for commercial applications. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (2/12)
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Food, Nutrition & Health
Commentary: U.S. can provide enough grain for food and fuel
The debate of food versus fuel continues despite data that indicates livestock feed production, exports and ethanol production are increasing, according to this commentary. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's long-term farm sector forecast indicates that U.S. grain production can support the demand for livestock feed and biofuel, Jim Lane writes. BiofuelsDigest.com (2/15)
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FDA extends comment period for biotech salmon
The FDA extended until April 26 the public comment period for AquaBounty Technologies' biotech salmon, which grows twice as fast as traditional fish, after receiving nearly 30,000 responses so far. The agency will evaluate the comments and consider how to proceed, FDA spokeswoman Morgan Liscinsky said. Preliminary assessments said no major environmental impact was posed by the fish. Canada.com/The Canadian Press (2/13)
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Science, Trends & Technology
Discovering fake olive oil through lasers
A laser created to scan space gases for isotopes may be repurposed to detect fake olive oil and other substances. The compact device, invented by Britain's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, can be used to identify a food's carbon fingerprint, which shows up in the carbon dioxide released when a small amount of the food is burned. Wired.co.uk (U.K.) (2/14)
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From the Inform News Desk
Inform free features
Consumer concerns about the safety of traditional preservatives used in creams, lotions, and other personal care products have created a substantial market for "natural" preservatives derived from plant sources. There are many definitions of 'natural"; whether natural preservatives are safer than their traditional counterparts is still under debate. Read about the "preservative wars" in this month's first free article from Inform, the AOCS member magazine. The second free article is an excerpt from February's Biotechnology News department. It details work being conducted by CSIRO researchers, who recently published results showing that the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA can be produced in land plants in commercially valuable quantities.
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Early rates end soon: AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo
Register today for the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo (April 28 to May 1 in Montréal) and experience the premier international science and business forum on fats, oils, surfactants, lipids, and related materials. If you register by Feb. 28, you will save up to $110. Check out the tentative program, the Forum on Emerging Technologies and the roster of short courses.
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SmartQuote
Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself."
-- William Blake,
British poet and painter
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About AOCS
AOCS is an international scientific association that provides resources for sharing information and knowledge—connecting the science of oil chemistry to our daily lives. As the AOCS member magazine, Inform offers global news and features about vegetable oils, fats, surfactants, detergents, personal care products, and related materials. If you are interested in writing an article for the magazine, please contact Managing Editor Kathy Heine at kheine@aocs.org.
 
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