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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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