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Fast Track bill undermines democracy, promotes secret mega-trade deals

16 April, 2015 - 22:36
Subtitle:  Congress should reject Fast Track, chart a new course on trade Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn File:  2015_04_16_FastTrackIntroduction_PR.pdf Minneapolis–Congress should reject a new bill that would grant the President Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), known as Fast Track. It would speed passage of two huge secret trade deals that would negatively impact farmers and ranchers, jobs, natural resources and our democracy, said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). The new Fast Track bill introduced today follows the playbook of past Fast Track bills by allowing the President to negotiate two mega-trade deals in secret, and present a final version to Congress for an up or...

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Fast Track a Bad Deal for Farmers and Our Food System, 110+ groups say

10 April, 2015 - 22:16
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn File:  2015_04_13 _FastTrackLetter_PR.pdf WASHINGTON, D.C.– Over 110 farm, food and consumer groups urged members of Congress in a letter today to oppose trade promotion authority or “fast track” legislation that would pave the way for trade agreements detrimental to farmers, ranchers and food systems, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A fast track bill, expected to be introduced this week, would allow the President to negotiate two mega trade deals in secret, and present a final version to Congress for a simple up or down vote—depriving Congress of its right to amend the finalized agreement. The groups expressed concern that pending trade deals would primarily benefit agribusiness corporations and not...

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Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America

7 April, 2015 - 21:15
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. M. Jahi Chappell Author(s) (external):  Hannah Wittman, Christopher M Bacon, Bruce G Ferguson, Luis García Barrios, Raúl García Barrios, Daniel Jaffee, Jefferson Lima, V Ernesto Méndez, Helda Morales, Lorena Soto-Pinto, John Vandermeer, Ivette Perfecto File:  chappell_f1000_dec_2013.pdf Abstract Strong feedback between global biodiversity loss and persistent, extreme rural poverty are major challenges in the face of concurrent food, energy, and environmental crises. This paper examines the role of industrial agricultural intensification and market integration as exogenous socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity loss and poverty traps in Latin America. We then analyze the potential...

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Extending the Growing Season

7 April, 2015 - 05:00
Subtitle:  High Tunnels Use and Farm to School in the Upper Midwest Language:  English IATP author(s):  Pete Huff File:  2015_04_02_SeasonExtension_PH.pdf Introduction The Upper Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin are simultaneously known for their cold winters and their high agriculture production. Like many states in the country, these states are experiencing increased interest in local and regional food procurement, particularly from institutions such as schools, childcare centers, universities and hospitals. While many farms in the Upper Midwest only produce during the typical growing season of mid-May through early October,1 the use of technology and practices to extend the growing season is rising, in...

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Coalition of NGOs Releases Nanotech Recommendation Reflecting Concern About Use of Nanotech In Foods

12 March, 2015 - 14:37
Subtitle:  Companies Urged to Address Potential Risks from Emerging Technology Language:  English Author(s) (external):  IATP, et al. File:  Nanotechnology policy press release -- 3-12-15 Minneapolis, MN – Responding to rising concern about manufacturers using unregulated nanomaterials in food, a coalition of advocacy groups in the U.S. and abroad has released a policy recommendation for companies in food-related industries to assist them in avoiding or reducing the risks from nanomaterials in food products and packaging. The recommendation requests that companies: adopt a detailed public policy explaining their use of nanomaterials, if any; publish a safety analysis for any nanomaterials being used; issue supplier...

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Nanomaterials Fact Sheet

11 March, 2015 - 20:41
Language:  English Author(s) (external):  IATP, et al. File:  Nano Fact Sheet 20150309.pdf Evidence indicates that engineered nanomaterials are beginning to be used and sold in common food products, but companies and their suppliers are failing to provide consumers with information about whether their products contain nanomaterials. In fact, many companies that sell products containing nanomaterials may not even know that nanomaterials are in their supply chain. Given recent scientific findings about potential health and environmental harm from engineered nanomaterials, companies that use, intend to use, or simply allow the use of nanomaterials in their food and food packaging products may face significant financial, legal, or reputational risk. Definition of Nanomaterials A nanomaterial...

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Policy for Nanomaterials in Food and Food Packaging

11 March, 2015 - 20:11
Language:  English Author(s) (external):  IATP, et. a File:  Nano Policy 20150309.pdf Policy for Nanomaterials in Food and Food Packaging Nanotoxicology studies indicate a range of harms can be caused by ingestion, inhalation, and/or dermal exposure to a variety of nanomaterials. We are concerned that food companies may use, or inadvertently, as a result of supply chain management failures, incorporate nanomaterials in their food products, food ingredients, food contact surfaces, feed or food packaging before such materials have been proven safe for manufacture, consumption, and release into natural ecosystems on a life-cycle basis. To minimize the risks to consumers, employees, researchers, companies, and natural ecosystems, we have developed the following policy recommendations for the...

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Minnesota Farm to Institution Markets

25 February, 2015 - 18:47
Subtitle:  A 2014 Producer Survey Snapshot Language:  English IATP author(s):  IATP File:  2015_02_13_ProducerSurveySnapshot.pdf Aimed at improving access to and profitability from Minnesota’s farm to institution markets (i.e. schools, hospitals, child care centers, etc.) for Minnesota producers, the survey engaged 142 producers operating in 56 counties in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota. It was a joint project of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Sustainable Farming Association and Renewing the Countryside – with input from over 15 organizations, agencies and farms. Approximately 29% of respondents reported institutional sales in 2013 – including schools, hospitals,...

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Midwest Bioeconomy and Safer Products Summit

11 February, 2015 - 22:52
Subtitle:  Regional Innovations Solving Global Problems IATP author(s):  IATP File:  2015_02_11_GreenChemistryConference_PR.pdf Minneapolis – Business, political, academic, and community leaders will convene in Pohlad Hall at the Minneapolis Central Library on Thursday, February 19th, 2015 to explore how the rapidly growing Bioeconomy and green chemistry sectors in the Midwest are providing clean, safe and economical solutions to many of the problems that face us here and around the world. Cohosted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and Aveda, the Midwest Bioeconomy and Safer Products Summit features national leaders and businesses from the region setting trends in green chemistry, innovative product design and manufacturing, renewable energy production, waste...

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Hopkins, MN Public Schools and Minnesota-grown Wheatberries Case Study

3 February, 2015 - 03:24
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_MinnesotaCaseStudy.pdf Overview Located just west of Minneapolis, MN, the Hopkins Public Schools system serves nearly 7,400 students. The district is composed of six elementary schools, one magnet Chinese immersion school, two junior high schools and one high school. Thirty-eight percent of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Hopkins Public Schools strives to offer menus composed of minimally processed foods. Approximately 90 percent of the food served in the high school is prepared from scratch, as is 75...

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Alaska Grown Barley and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Case Study

3 February, 2015 - 03:20
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_AlaskaCaseStudy.pdf Overview Located in interior Alaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District serves daily lunches for over 5,000 of its 14,300 students.1 The district includes 35 public, charter, magnet, and specialized schools that range in size from a rural elementary school of fewer than 100 students to a high school of 1,200 students. Fairbanks’ efforts to incorporate Alaska Grown foods into its meal program is part of an extensive Farm to School movement in Alaska. The state Legislature passed legislation to formally...

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Montana-grown Lentils and the Kalispell, Montana Public Schools Case Study

3 February, 2015 - 03:14
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_MontanaCaseStudy.pdf Overview Located in rural northwestern Montana, the Kalispell Public School District has about 6,000 students, about 3,500 of which are served lunch daily.1 The district places a strong emphasis on providing locally grown products, and its Farm to School program now involves 12 to 15 local producers. Lunch menus include more than a dozen varieties of local fruits and vegetables, as well as local whole grains, meat and dairy products. The Kalispell district prioritizes growers from very nearby areas whenever possible,...

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Portland Public Schools and Regionally Grown Legumes and Grains Case Study

3 February, 2015 - 03:09
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_PortlandCaseStudy.pdf Overview The largest school district in Oregon, the Portland Public Schools (PPS), is composed of 47,000 students in 81 schools. PPS is a diverse district with 46 percent of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals. About half of its student body is white, 16 percent are Hispanic, 11 percent are African American, eight percent are Asian, and seven percent are multi-racial. Portland’s Nutrition Services1 serves 11,000 school breakfasts, 20,000 school lunches and 1,800 suppers daily and employs...

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Ithaca City School District and New York-Grown Organic Dry Beans and Tofu Case Study

3 February, 2015 - 02:59
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_IthacaCaseStudy.pdf Overview The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) is located in Ithaca, New York, 225 miles northwest of New York City. Nestled at the southern end of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes Region, Ithaca’s beautiful bucolic setting and proximity to an abundance of farmland has been credited with inspiring a food culture that prioritizes local, fresh and often vegetarian cuisine. ICSD serves 5,400 students in grades K-12 with eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and one alternative middle school/high...

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Grand Rapids Public Schools: Michigan-grown dry beans Case Study

3 February, 2015 - 02:35
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_GrandRapidsCaseStudy.pdf Overview Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) is Michigan’s fourth-largest public school district, serving more than 17,000 students. GRPS’ Nutrition Services1 serves approximately 25,000 meals a day with 86 percent of students being eligible for free lunch. About 36 percent of the student body is African American, 33 percent Hispanic/Latino, 22 percent Caucasian, and six percent are multi-racial. Through its central commissary, Grand Rapids School District also manages food services for the East Grand Rapids Public...

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Using Regionally Grown Grains and Pulses in School Meals

15 January, 2015 - 19:41
Subtitle:  Best Practices, Supply Chain Analysis and Case Studies Language:  English IATP author(s):  Erin McKee VanSlooten Author(s) (external):  JoAnne Berkenkamp, Tomorrow's Table LLC; Kaylee Skaar, IATP intern File:  2015_02_02_GrainsAndPulses_EMV.pdf Best Practices for using regionally grown grains and legumes in school meals Healthy, regionally grown grains and legumes are a growing part of Farm to School. Our six case studies on the introduction of locally grown grains and pulses feature school districts, food vendors and partners in communities ranging from: Portland, Ore.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Hopkins, Minn.; Fairbanks, Alaska and...

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Deepening Food Democracy

14 January, 2015 - 17:31
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Dr. M. Jahi Chappell Author(s) (external):  Jill Carlson File:  2015_01_06_Agrodemocracy_JC_JC_f.pdf Introduction Imagine a group of 15 citizens from your community. These citizens are a cross-section from your community, representative in gender, age, education, party affiliation and ethnicity. They gather to discuss their concerns about the impacts of climate change on their lives and potential steps to overcome those challenges. After days of discussing their collective community vision of what a sustainable and resilient community is, they draft a citizen’s report. This report is used as a launching pad for conversations and actions with their local government and their community...

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Report: Fungicide resistance poses serious threat to human health, agriculture

5 January, 2015 - 22:51
Language:  English IATP author(s):  Andrew Ranallo File:  2015_01_07_Fungicide_PR.pdf Minneapolis – The beneficial effects of fungicides are rapidly dwindling, opening a vulnerability to fungi in plants and animals, says a new report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Fungicide Resistance: Risk and Consequences in Modern Agriculture takes an in-depth look at how and why fungicide resistance is growing and the connection to agriculture and public health. “While fungal resistance is evolutionary biology at work, there are human activities and practices that contribute to and speed up resistance,” says IATP’s VP for Communications Dale Wiehoff. The report identifies factors such as industrial agriculture based on multi-year mono-cropping; the...

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Fungicide Resistance

30 December, 2014 - 08:50
Subtitle:  Risk and Consequence in Modern Agriculture Language:  English Author(s) (external):  L.F.T. Luce File:  2014_12_23_Fungicide_LL.pdf Executive Summary Fungi are ubiquitous and vital members of nearly all ecosystems on our planet, from untouched wilderness to carefully managed agriculture. In our interaction with these creatures we have experienced both extraordinary benefits—including harnessing the process of fermentation—and terrible losses—including the Irish Potato Famine. The majority of fungal species are detritivores, quietly decomposing and recycling organic matter in soil or water. But some species are parasites, and they can threaten the health of humans, our crops and livestock, and...

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