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Whose Century Is It?: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Food and the “21st-Century Trade Agreement”

27 August, 2014 - 13:00
Language:  English Author(s) (external):  Adam Needelman File:  2014_08_22_TPP_AN.pdf The future of trade deals? In the final year of the George W. Bush presidency, the U.S. entered into negotiations to establish a gargantuan new trade deal. The negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently involve 12 countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—together comprising 40 percent of the world economy and a third of global trade.1 In pro-TPP rhetoric, the deal is marketed as a “21st-century trade agreement.”2 But the deal isn’t as futuristic as its boosters want you to believe; rather, it’s a massive double down on the strategies and philosophies of...

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Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights

21 August, 2014 - 16:17
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Patrick Tsai File:  2014_08_21_TarsSands_PT_f.pdf Introduction Neoliberalism exacerbates climate change and codifies the subjugation of indigenous communities through trade agreement rules that allow corporations to control natural resources and challenge government regulations. Liberalized trade and economic regimes promote policies that incentivize unrestricted extraction and access to resources without adequate consideration for maintaining social and environmental integrity. These policies result in systemic mismanagement of natural resources. Currently, free trade negotiations on energy focus primarily on unconventional fuels, characterized by notably higher life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than conventional oil. Tar sands are a form of...

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Maine Agriculture and Food Systems in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

15 August, 2014 - 18:42
Language:  English File:  2014_07_07_MaineTradePolicyAssessment_KHK.pdf Executive Summary The negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began with a series of bold assertions that it would serve to jump start the two ailing economies, resulting in rising economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic. Tariffs are already quite low. The bigger challenge—and the real target—is the very different approaches to regulation. Past experiences with free trade, such as those under the North American Free Trade Agreement, give reasons for concern. It is impossible to accurately predict the real impacts of changes in tariff and non-tariff barriers on specific sectors of agricultural production in Maine. The bigger question may be how the changes that could result from TTIP would affect the state’s food...

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From GMO to SMO: how synthetic biology evades regulation

7 August, 2014 - 14:17
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. Steve Suppan File:  2014_07_18_Synbio_SS.pdf Products derived from synthetic biology (popularly called synbio), a rapidly growing new technology, are beginning to enter the marketplace without a regulatory framework in place that provides for pre-market safety assessment of its unique risks to health and the environment. In the very near future, a host of food and agricultural products could be on the marketplace without labeling and in natural ecosystems without biosafety controls or indeed, understanding about the effect of Synthetically Modified Organisms (SMOs) on biological diversity. This fact sheet gives a short overview of synbio, a few of its applications to food, agriculture and consumer products, and an explanation of the U.S....

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Leaked document reveals US-EU trade agreement threatens public health, food safety

24 July, 2014 - 11:00
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Andrew Ranallo Dr. Steve Suppan File:  2014_07_24_TTIPLeak_PR.pdf WASHINGTON D.C. – A draft chapter of the U.S-EU trade agreement leaked today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reveals public health and food safety could be at risk, according to an accompanying analysis. The leaked chapter concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues—those surrounding food safety and animal and plant health—in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated. Only TTIP negotiators and security cleared advisors, mostly corporate representatives, can read and comment on draft negotiating texts. According to the IATP analysis accompanying release of the...

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Analysis of the draft Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) chapter on food safety, and animal and plant health issues (proposed by the European Commission, as of June 27, 2014)

23 July, 2014 - 22:01
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. Steve Suppan File:  2014_07_24_TTIP_SPS_Analysis.pdf Trade agreements have a profound influence on how regulations to protect public health and how we produce food are developed, implemented and enforced or not enforced. U.S. and EU food safety regulations in the US and the EU often set the bar for such standards around the world. There is much at stake in the wording of trade agreements, but remarkably, draft negotiations texts remained undisclosed to the public affected by the trade related food safety chapters in those texts. Instead of a public debate about appropriate protections for health and the type of agriculture we want, these negotiations are taking place behind closed doors, and heavily influenced by corporate trade advisors whose...

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A Farmer and Landowner Guide to Pollinators and Neonicotinoids

17 July, 2014 - 16:42
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Tara Ritter Jim Kleinschmit File:  pollinators.pdf Pollinators are essential to the environment and our food supply. Nearly one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat relies on a pollinator, and they have been shown to boost crop yield and quality, providing clear economic benefits to farmers. Most people know that bees are pollinators, but there are many others, including butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, bats and hummingbirds. They carry seeds and pollen between plants, facilitating plant reproduction. Without them, we would lose much of our food supply, put wildlife food and habitat at risk, and compromise plants that stabilize soils against erosion and buffer waterways. Yet pollinators throughout the U.S....

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Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package

15 July, 2014 - 15:33
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Madeline Kastler, Lynn Mader, Cisa Keller, Cara Johnson-Bader, Bev Bauman, Juli Seehusen, Jenny Breenand Whitney Ulvestad File:  2014_07_16_F2CC_Curriculum_f.pdf Inside this curriculum package, you will find activity ideas and resources for implementing Farm to Childcare at your  childcare center. Many of these resources are ready to use, while some are examples that offer opportunities for you to customize to your own context. Lesson planning charts are provided to help you introduce the children at your center to locally grown food items and concepts. Download the full curriculum.

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Farm to Childcare: Highlights and Lessons Learned

15 July, 2014 - 15:12
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Madeline Kastler and Lynn Mader File:  2014_03_21_F2CCCurriculum_highlightsLL_f.pdf Introduction: About our Experience with Farm to Childcare In late 2011, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) began exploring a potential collaboration with New Horizon Academy (NHA), a for-profit childcare provider, to jointly design and conduct a pilot Farm to Childcare (F2CC) program in Minnesota. Together, we developed and launched a Farm to Childcare pilot program in 14 NHA childcare centers in June 2012 and then expanded the program to all 62 NHA centers in Minnesota in June 2013. Through this publication, we are sharing...

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New Farm to Childcare curriculum connects youngest eaters with fresh local fruits and vegetables

14 July, 2014 - 21:14
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Andrew Ranallo File:  2014_07_15_F2CCCurriculum_PR.pdf Minneapolis – The new Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package released today gives childcare providers a roadmap to start their own Farm to Childcare programs in order to connect young children with locally grown, minimally processed foods and the farmers who grow them. The curriculum was developed for preschool-age children by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in partnership with childcare provider company New Horizon Academy (NHA) with support from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The curriculum and associated materials include practical, experience-tested strategies to try out new approaches in child care settings including menu...

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Morris citizens to discuss responses to extreme weather in first Rural Climate Dialogue, June 12–14

9 June, 2014 - 20:21
Language:  English File:  2014_06_09_RuralClimateDialogue_PR.pdf A “Citizen Jury” will come together June 12–14 in Morris, Minn. for an intense three-day deliberative forum to discuss risks posed by climate change and develop a shared, community-based response to changing weather patterns, extreme weather events, and their community. This “Rural Climate Dialogue” is open to the public and is being organized by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the Jefferson Center. The jury, a randomly selected but demographically representative group of 15 citizens, will have access to resources and experts to produce their own independent recommendations that respond to the Morris’ community needs, priorities, concerns and values. Morris High School students helped assemble data for the meeting through a series...

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Measuring Success: Local Food Systems and the Need for New Indicators

3 June, 2014 - 19:50
Language:  English IATP author(s):  IATP File:  indicators-web.pdf In agriculture, policymakers, analysts and researchers often use a set of indicators to assess whether a farming system, or new technology, is succeeding. The most common indicators focus on increasing “yield,” often of a singular crop or animal unit, within large-scale production systems. The use of indicators focused almost exclusively on production helps to shape scientific research and public policy. But just as weight alone is not a good measure of human health, a single-minded focus on production is an inadequate measure of the health of a farming system. So long as yields are high, this narrow focus supports the illusion that our agricultural system is meeting the nutrition, health, environmental...

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10 reasons TTIP is bad for good food and farming

16 May, 2014 - 21:09
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Shefali Sharma File:  2014_05_16_10ReasonsTTIP_SS.pdf The United States and the European Union have launched negotiations on a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): a free trade agreement that aims to “harmonize” standards and regulations in both regions to expand corporate profits. However, the regulations in question are critical to creating more sustainable, healthy food systems in Europe and in the United States. In May 2013, over 20 agribusiness industry groups—particularly from the meat, dairy and grain industries—submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office outlining their clear interests in TTIP. Agribusiness on both sides is pushing to rollback regulations that hinder their...

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The State of the States on Climate Adaptation

8 May, 2014 - 14:27
Subtitle:  Analysis of State Climate Adaptation Plans Related to Food and Agriculture Language:  English Author(s) (external):  Zack Robbins File:  2014_05_06_AdaptationPlans_ZR.pdf Foreward As the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent, society is becoming more serious about the need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and begin preparing for a changing climate. The needs are profound—practically every area of our economy and society will be impacted and we need comprehensive plans that address multiple areas of concern. Among these sectors, agriculture and food production are arguably the most important areas for adaptation. As IATP has detailed in past...

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