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 iatp.org/tradesecrets.

Antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria widely present in retail pork, new study says

By Andrew Ranallo   
Published January 20, 2012

Used under creative commons license from essgee51.

In total, 395 pork samples were collected and of those, 6.6 percent were found to contain MRSA.

MINNEAPOLIS – New peer-reviewed research published January 19 found methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pork samples collected from retail stores at a higher rate than previously identified. The study, by researchers from the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, titled “MRSA in conventional and alternative retail pork products,” represents the largest sampling of raw meat products for MRSA contamination to date in the United States. It appears in the online science journal PLoS ONE from the Public Library of Science.

In total, 395 pork samples were collected from a total of 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Among these samples, S. aureus—a bacteria that can cause serious human infections of the bloodstream, skin, lungs (pneumonia) and other organs—was isolated from 256 samples (64.8 percent) and of those, 26 pork samples (6.6 percent of the total) were found to contain MRSA.

MRSA is one of the most serious bacteria, causing infections resistant to multiple antibiotics, which are therefore costly and very difficult to treat. According to 2005 estimates, MRSA accounts for about 280,000 infections and nearly 19,000 deaths a year in hospitals. However, MRSA infections acquired outside of hospitals, in communities and on farms, have been rapidly rising.

“The latest results are more than double the prevalence found in previous studies of this kind. At 6.6 percent, pork is four times more likely to be carrying deadly MRSA than the average American, pointing to our food system and industrial farming as an avenue for MRSA to continue to spread,” said IATP’s David Wallinga, MD.

Read the study on the Public Library of Science’s PLoS ONE website at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0030092.

IATP has been working for over a decade to eliminate the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed and prevent the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA on farms and in our food supply. IATP’s David Wallinga, MD will also be presenting “Raising Pigs, Raising Problems: Saying No to Antibiotics in Animal Feed” at TEDx in Manhattan January 20.




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