Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

In getting to the heart of our unhealthy food system, health professionals are key (and not in the way you may think)

Posted January 8, 2013 by Andrew Ranallo   

Food and HealthFoodHealthObesity

Used under creative commons license from Subconsci Productions.

Health professionals have traditionally kept their work in the clinic, but getting involved directly in the food system could be instrumental in a broader, and lasting improvement in public health.

It seems every week, mainstream media is reporting on a new study pointing to food A, or beverage B, as the latest malign of the American eater. The truth is, the rising obesity rates in the U.S., and the frightening rate of decline in children’s health in our country are complicated. While new research is vital in contributing to a better understanding of our food environment, and our physicians’ sound advice about getting more exercise and “eating right” may help strengthen our resolve, it has not—at least by any measurable statistic—proven to be enough to stop the host of diet-related disease we’re currently facing.

In a new contribution to Minnesota Medicine, IATP’s Dr. David Wallinga places the increasingly industrialized food system (as more and more science does) at the heart of our plight. Further, he asserts, health professionals hold one of the keys to making change: By getting involved in their patients’ health outside of the clinic and advocating for a healthier food system that makes “eating right” a more attainable goal.

Read Dr. Wallinga’s complete piece, “Our Unhealthy Food System: Why physicians’ voices are critically needed,” at Minnesota Medicine’s website.

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