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Ag Industry Brief: BASF Licenses CRISPR Cas-9, Thrive Accel Announces Winners, Beyond Meat Goes to Hong Kong, more

April 17, 2017

Acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina Approved by Chinese Competition Authority

ChemChina and Syngenta announced this week that they have received approval from the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China for the proposed acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina. This represents a further step towards the closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2017. Read more here.

BASF Licenses CRISPR-Cas9 Technology from the Broad Institute

BASF, the agrichemical company, today announced that it has reached a global licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for the use of CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology to improve products in agricultural and industrial microbiology applications. BASF joins Monsanto to have a license from Broad Institute whereas DuPont Pioneer has a relationship with Caribou Biosciences, which is working under the license from UC Berkeley. Read more here.

THRIVE Accelerator Names Winners

The Salinas, CA-based THRIVE Accelerator unveiled the 10 lucky winners for its recent program. Each winner receives $50,000 in cash and a mentorship and coaching opportunity. The geographically diverse startups, which completed an eight-week bootcamp, hail from around the globe. Read more here.

Beyond Meat Launches Beyond Burger in Hong Kong

Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat, which makes protein alternatives using plant-based ingredients, is launching its Beyond Burger in Hong Kong at Green common markets. Read more here.

Monsanto Sells Brazilian Seed Processing Plant to Tecnoseeds

Monsanto recently agreed to sell its corn seed processing plant located in Sao Paulo to Tecnoseeds Brasil. Founded in Argentina in 2007, with the traditional seed player Dom Mario Group as one of its shareholders, Tecnoseeds is among the few companies to provide seed production services to partners through its plant in Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais. Rabobank advised Monsanto on the deal.

Planet and FarmShots Offer Free Trial to John Deere Operations Center Users

Integrated aerospace and data analytics company Planet and satellite and drone imagery company FarmShots have collaborated to provide John Deere Operations Center users access to Planet’s global imaging services, allowing farmers to view up-to-date imagery of their fields. Planet operates the largest constellation of Earth-imaging satellites and provides cost-effective and information-rich agricultural data to users in countries across the globe.

Kentucky Ag Officials Destroy 100 Pounds of Hemp Over Psychoactive Ingredient Levels

Agriculture officials in Kentucky confiscated and burned roughly 100 pounds of hemp stating that the level of psychoactive chemicals in the crop exceed the legally permissible level. The federal and state-based acceptable limit of the psychoactive ingredient, THC, is 0.3%. The owner of the crop claimed that destroying the crop due to this level of THC was unreasonable, stating that it is not enough to induce any psychoactive side effects if smoked. Read more here.

Google Catches Burger King in Attempt to Turn Voice-Activated Technology into Marketing

Burger King attempted to take advantage of the voice-activated Google device by scripting its commercials to say, “What is the Whopper Burger?” The scheme hoped to trigger the device and bring unsuspecting TV watchers more info about Burger King. Google found out about the ploy and stopped its devices from responding before the spot aired on major networks. Read more about the plot here.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • UK-based Just Eat launched a new foodtech accelerator that spans the entire food supply chain, reports Growth Business.
  • China will start accepting shipments of US beef, reports The Daily Intake.
  • Speaking of China, Shanghai is planning a 100-hectare vertical farm project with international architecture firm Sasaki, reports Inhabitat.
  • Robotics company Marble and Yelp Eat24 have rolled out robot delivery in San Francisco, reports Tech Crunch.

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