Action Alert


Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!


The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.


TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.


Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to iatp.org/tradesecrets.

An ounce of prevention...

Posted February 2, 2011 by Sophia Murphy   

Press attention has again focused this past month on rising food prices. As Financial Times journalist Javier Blas tells us, panic buying has now reared its head, completing the already present factors of crop failures, export restrictions and food riots that were the trademarks of the 2007-08 food price crisis.

» Read the full post

Banning BPA from food containers

Posted January 26, 2011 by Ben Lilliston   

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a hormone-disrupting chemical. CDC data indicate BPA is present in the bodies and urine of more than 90 percent of Americans. It's widespread use in everything from food can liners to ATM receipts accounts for the exposure. Exposure to BPA has been linked to a variety of hormone-related diseases, from cancer to reproductive problems.

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Will Obama's trade agenda undermine global food security?

Posted January 25, 2011

During tonight's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is expected to tout an expanded trade liberalization agenda as part of his plan to generate more U.S. jobs. But does this push to open up markets square with the Administration's plan to address global food security?

President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative promotes ending global hunger by bolstering food production by small-scale farmers—especially women, through programs led by developing countries. While the U.S. development agenda emphasizes increasing local food production in developing countries, the trade agenda pushes in the opposite direction, aiming to double U.S. exports in the next five years. In a new paper, IATP’s Karen Hansen-Kuhn documents how the Obama Administration’s agricultural trade policy is very much a continuation of past policies—policies that have undermined small-scale farmers and global food security. The paper identifies much needed reforms in U.S. trade policy to recognize current challenges associated with food security and climate disruptions. You can read the full paper here.

» Read the full post

Feeding Animals Antibiotics: Not Helping U.S. Meat Export

Posted January 24, 2011 by Ben Lilliston   

At a 2010 Congressional briefing sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter, I warned the continued and routine overuse of antibiotics in U.S. meat production could be shooting the global competitiveness of that industry in the foot.

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Chipotle's "integrity" challenged over treatment of workers

Posted January 20, 2011 by Ben Lilliston   

 

Update: Hear an interview with former Chipotle employee Maria Cortes on the latest Radio Sustain (mp3)!

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Health leaders call for healthy Farm Bill

Posted January 7, 2011 by Ben Lilliston   

A growing and impressive number of health professionals are calling for changes in the next Farm Bill. Below is our press release from today:

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Are genes for disease a mirage?

Posted January 6, 2011 by    

Is chronic disease mostly a product of environment, and not genes, as we've been led to believe? That provocative question is the focus for a new report by The Bioscience Resource Project.

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More ideas for improving cereal markets in West Africa

Posted December 16, 2010 by Sophia Murphy   

After my fascinating meeting last week on a West African food security reserve, my second meeting in Ghana was also about cereals.

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A victory on mercury and HFCS

Posted December 15, 2010 by Ben Lilliston   

In my more desperate hours, I sometimes wonder whether raising my physician voice is enough to foster change, to make the food system healthier and more sustainable.

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West Africa takes action on the food crisis

Posted December 14, 2010 by Sophia Murphy   

While the world's governments gathered in Cancún, ultimately failing to reach a meaningful multilateral commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help save the planet, I was across the Atlantic in a different tropical country: Ghana.

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