Op-ed/Commentaries

Free trade versus food democracy

Published April 17, 2013

Jim Harkness

April 17, 2013 – There has been a quiet revolution going around the world, as communities and nations retake control of their food systems. In the U.S., more people are taking a look at processed foods at the supermarket and opting instead for healthier choices, grown locally with fewer pesticides. People in...

The end of the Farm Bill?

Published February 4, 2013

Jim Harkness

February 4, 2013 – “There is absolutely no way to explain this other than agriculture is just not a priority,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on the Senate Floor on New Year’s Day. She was describing the bare-bones Farm Bill extension agreed to as part of the stop-...

A year of squandered opportunities to resolve the food crisis

Published January 31, 2013

Sophia Murphy

January 31, 2013 – A drought in the United States last year sparked the third price spike in international food commodity markets in the last five years, again pushing maize, wheat, and soybean prices to record highs. Why are we still seeing such volatility six years after prices shot up in 2007? Have global...

Crisis or opportunity in the multilateral trade system?

Published October 15, 2012

Sophia Murphy

October 10, 2012 – It was fascinating to attend the WTO public symposium at the end of September, an event framed around the question: “Is Multilateralism in Crisis?” The question invited far more yesses than noes, although there was a healthy sprinkling of determined optimists in the crowd as well....

Looking Through A Gender Lens: Water in the Green Economy

Published June 1, 2012

Shiney Varghese

First published in 2012 in the lead up to Rio+20 by Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America, as part of its “A Series of Think Pieces on Gender Equity and Sustainable Development” at http://us.boell.org/2012/06/13/series-think-pieces-gender-equity-and-sustainable-development-gender-ecology

Global Agricultural Policy in an Age of Land Grabs

Published April 12, 2012

Jim Harkness

LONDON, MAR. 5, 2012 – Last year, I was invited to speak on a panel at the European Parliament with Professor Lang to provide some international perspective for a discussion they were having about the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. I was specifically asked to comment on how the issues and proposals...

Off the rails: Food security and the WTO

Published December 21, 2011

Karen Hansen-Kuhn

Washington D.C., December 21, 2011 – At a World Social Forum event in 2006, Walden Bello warned that the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was careening down a track to disaster. Negotiators urgently needed to pull back before the Round went off a cliff, the founder of Focus on the Global South...

Stepping up: Will the G-20 allow the CFS to function? Will other countries allow the G-20 to stop them?

Published November 4, 2011

Sophia Murphy

Rome, October 2011 – Multilateralism is in crisis. It is perhaps most evident in the painful and truly frightening failure of governments to come to grips with the implications of climate change. But it was also evident on a much less well-publicized stage in mid-October in Rome, where governments were gathered...

The 2050 challenge to our global food system

Published October 20, 2011

Jim Harkness

Feeding 9 billion people by 2050 will be an enormous challenge. In many circles when people talk about feeding the world in 2050, the focus is almost exclusively on increasing food production. How can we do what we’re already doing better? What technologies can we produce to get more yield, or calories, out of...

Hungry for justice

Published October 13, 2011

This commentary was originally published September 29, 2011 on Twin Cities Runoff. The author, Chelsey Perkins, is a Food and Farm Journalism Intern at IATP. On a brisk June day on a sidewalk in southeast Minneapolis, Mario Colloly Torres ate a chunk of bread, his first bite of food in 12 days. His body felt tired....