Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, September 11, 2015, Page 10, Image 10

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September 11, 2015
Commission eyes ‘pulse’ for name
Industry sees ‘blank
slate’ as advantage
Capital Press
The Washington Dry Pea
and Lentil Commission may
change its name to the Wash-
ington Pulse Crops Commis-
sion. The switch would coor-
dinate with a year-long United
Nations campaign to increase
awareness of pulse crops.
The commission will
propose the change during
a rulemaking hearing at 9
a.m. Sept. 15 at the Whitman
County Public Service Build-
ing, 310 N. Main St., Colfax,
The Washington State De-
partment of Agriculture direc-
tor will hear from producers
and decide whether to move
forward with the request.
Growers will have an oppor-
tunity to comment before the
commission moves ahead
with a referendum, which re-
quires a 60 percent majority
of producers approving the
change, said Todd Scholz,
Faba bean, lupine considered for list
increase to boost
marketing, create
endowed chair
Capital Press
The Washington Dry
Pea and Lentil Commission
will ask the state Department
of Agriculture to include the
pulse crops dried faba beans
and lupine, a forage and
vice president of research and
member services at the USA
Dry Pea and Lentil Council.
The commission is chang-
ing its name to coordinate
with the U.N. International
Year of Pulses in 2016, Scholz
said. The campaign conveys
to the public a message about
the healthfulness of pulses
and encourages increased use.
grain legume.
The crops are already part
of Montana and North Dako-
ta commissions, said Todd
Scholz, vice president of re-
search and member services
for the USA Dry Pea and
Lentil Council.
Faba beans could fill a
market niche when pulses
are ground up to make pro-
tein concentrates, flour and
starch, a process known as
“We’re on the eve of that
industry,” Scholz said. “We
wanted to make sure we’re
“The problem with ‘pulse’
is it’s a totally undefined
term,” Scholz said. “If you
ask a consumer what’s a pulse,
probably they don’t know.
The disadvantage is, nobody
knows what a pulse is.”
However, a blank slate
could be a positive, according
to the advertising firm Leo
Burnett, he said.
going to be able to help out
the faba bean growers we
see in the future, and provide
better varieties and improved
end-use characteristics.”
The commission’s pro-
posal includes an increase in
grower assessments from 1
to 2 percent for three years
to help pay for marketing.
WSDA could release ballots
in mid-October, Scholz said.
The assessments would
also help establish an en-
dowed chair for pulse crops
at Washington State Uni-
“They actually think the
fact it’s an undefined term for
food gives us an advantage,”
Scholz said. “We can define
the term, we can truly make
pulses the future of food.”
“I think this is a better de-
scription of what we do and
what we raise,” said Scot
Cocking, chairman of the
commission and a Farming-
ton, Wash., farmer.
He believes the name
change is likely. He doesn’t
have an estimated cost, but
expects it to be minimal.
“You’ve got to change
letterhead and a sign outside
the office — I just don’t think
it’s going to be too much,” he
Palouse, Wash., pulse
grower Aaron Flansburg, a
member of the commission,
doesn’t see a downside to the
“As our industry has ex-
panded, there’s more com-
modities to come under the
umbrella,” he said. “I’m also
a chickpea grower, so not hav-
ing that in the title, it kind of
misses a large segment of our
In December, the West-
ern Pea and Lentil Growers
Association will also vote
on changing its name to the
Western Pulse Growers Asso-
ciation, Scholz said.
The council hasn’t dis-
cussed changing its name,
too, but Scholz said it could
be considered as early as No-
Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press File
Cargo containers are shown being loaded on ships at the Port of Portland in this file photo. A former Japanese agricultural minister is leading a legal challenge of the Trans
Pacific Partnership agreement that is being negotiated by 12 nations .
Japanese group sues to stop TPP talks
For the Capital Press
TOKYO — A former Jap-
anese agricultural minister
is leading a legal challenge
of the Trans Pacific Partner-
ship agreement that is being
negotiated by 12 nations, in-
cluding the U.S. and Japan.
Masahiko Yamada is
leading a group of 1,063
people that have filed a
45,650,000 yen — about
$370,000 — lawsuit against
the Japanese government in
Tokyo District Court.
The group aims to halt
the Japanese government’s
participation in the TPP ne-
gotiations on constitutional
A 2005 pact between
Brunei, Chile, New Zea-
land and Singapore, the TPP
originally called for the 90
percent reduction of all tar-
iffs between member coun-
tries by 2006. Tariffs were
to decrease to zero by this
In the past few years, the
U.S., Japan, Canada, Ma-
laysia, Mexico, Peru and
Vietnam have been negoti-
ating to join the TPP.
The plaintiffs suing the
government include eight
Japanese parliament mem-
bers, 157 lawyers, farmers
and celebrities including
writers, musicians and ac-
The group also includes
journalists and individual
representatives of consumer
cooperatives, labor unions
and farming associations.
The plaintiffs demand
the Japanese government
be enjoined from negotiat-
ing the TPP, a declaration
and confirmation that the
government’s negotiating
the trade pact violates the
constitution of Japan and
that the government pay
each plaintiff 10,000 yen, or
about $81.
Yamada was minister of
Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries from 2009 to 2010
under the Democratic Party
of Japan administration.
The former rancher left
the party in 2012 over then-
prime minister Yoshihiko
Noda’s decision to partic-
ipate in the TPP negotia-
Yamada’s group opposes
the TPP on constitutional
grounds, arguing the Diet
— the Japanese parliament
— is the highest organ of
state power, and shall be the
sole lawmaking organ of the
state and that the cabinet,
upon concluding any treaty,
must obtain the parliament’s
The TPP forces partici-
pating countries to review
all their laws to determine
if they are consistent with
the trade agreement and to
revise them if they are not.
They also argue con-
sumers would be negatively
affected by the trade pact,
as it would do away with
ingredient lists. This would
cause problems for the 4.5
percent of Japanese chil-
dren who suffer from aller-
gies to dairy, wheat, peanuts
or emulsifiers, Yamada said
in an interview with Capital
“If children with dairy
allergies eat sweets contain-
ing cheese, they may die,”
he said.
Because of the TPP, sani-
tary and phytosanitary stan-
dards will also be lowered,
he argues.
For example, peanuts
coming in from the U.S.
may have been sprayed with
certain pesticides, the use of
which has not yet been de-
cided in Japan by the gov-
ernment, and nobody will
even know, Yamada said.
“We will have to show
scientific evidence that the
pesticides are bad for health,
and meanwhile, people will
be consuming them,” he
said. “Putting Japanese ag-
riculture under pressure,
the TPP also goes against
constitutional guarantees of
Japanese people’s right to
a stable supply of food, as
well as the right of agricul-
tural workers to make their
living through agriculture
and dairy farming.”
State hires
first plant
Farmers partner
to raise funds for
new position
Capital Press
Montana State University
has hired its first endowed
plant science chairman, who
will target the wheat stem
sawfly and other priority is-
sues for grain farmers.
Hikmet Budak begins the
new position in January. He
is now a professor in biologi-
cal sciences and bioengineer-
ing at Sabanci University in
Istanbul, Turkey.
The endowment pays Bu-
dak’s salary and provides
money to conduct research,
MSU spokesperson Tracy El-
lig said.
“When you have an en-
dowed chair, you’re really
able to attract someone of in-
credible caliber,” Ellig said,
adding that the positions are
highly sought after by some
of the nation’s and world’s
most prestigious faculty.
More than 60 Montana
grain farmers and agricultur-
al businesses have support-
ed the endowed chair, with
a goal of raising $5 million,
according to the university.
More than $2.6 million has
been raised, and fundraising
will continue this fall until
the goal is met.
The Montana Grains
Foundation — the education-
al and philanthropic arm of
the Montana Grain Growers
Association — led the charge
for the position, said Lola
Raska, executive vice presi-
dent of the association.
“Those farmers got to-
gether and literally to raise
the first $2.5 million, they
were going door-to-door,”
she said. “It was farmers
around the state that said,
‘Yes, I want to be part of this
effort,’ and contributed to get
us well down the road.”
Turkey and the Middle
East originated cereal grain
cultivation, Ellig said.
Raska said the industry
was looking for a good col-
laborator to build a program
with researchers at the uni-
versity. She cited Budak’s
connections to the U.S. and
European Union research
Raska said Budak will fo-
cus on the insect pest wheat
stem sawfly. According to
the university, sawflies cost
U.S. wheat production a total
of $350 million, with 2012
losses in Montana roughly
$80 million. Some individual
Montana wheat farms lost up
to $120,000 in 2012.
The problem has extended
to Idaho, Washington, Colo-
rado, Kansas, Nebraska and
Canada, she said.
Raska said Budak will an-
swer to a wheat and barley
producer-led advisory board,
which will convey the most
pressing research needs.
Budak’s work will extend
beyond Montana, Raska said.
“Issues in grain produc-
tion don’t stop at the border,”
she said.
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