Public health cost of global (corn) trade

Posted February 7, 2011

Last week Mexico paid a U.S.-based corn processor, Corn Products International, Inc. (CPI) $58.4 million in accordance with a 2009 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tribunal decision. The case illustrates the important intersection of U.S. trade policy with food and public health.

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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.

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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.

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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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