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 featured in HBO series on obesity epidemic

By Andrew Ranallo   
Published May 14, 2012

Food and HealthHealthObesity

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s (IATP) Dr. David Wallinga is featured in a new HBO multi-movie series on the nation’s obesity epidemic and the systemic drivers of it. Dr. Wallinga joins other experts in public health, health policy and obesity prevention research to discuss an issue that costs the country an estimated $190 billion per year, and will impact more than 42 percent of the population by 2030.

The Weight of the Nation premieres on Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15. Dr. Wallinga is featured in part IV: Challenges, where he talks about food and agricultural policy as contributors to the obesity epidemic. An essay on the same topic written by Dr. Wallinga appeared in March 2010 in the influential policy journal, Health Affairs.

IATP works on the issue of obesity as related to food and agriculture policy through its Food and Health program, led by Dr. Wallinga. In 2006, IATP published, Food Without Thought, looking at the relationship of obesity to food policy. In March of 2007, IATP, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation andthe W.K. Kellogg Foundation hosted the first national conference on childhood obesity and the agricultural policy at the Wingspread conference center in Racine, Wisconsin. IATP’s latest efforts include organizing Healthy Food Action, a project designed to engage health professionals in the national discussion about food, health and agriculture.

“This epidemic is complex. We can move forward, but it will take all of us acting at every level—including policy change—to change the food environments in our communities for the better,” said Wallinga. “The HBO series is compelling in laying out the scope of the problem, but also the necessity and wide ranging nature of the solutions.”

Read more about Dr. Wallinga’s work at, or see more details about the HBO series

       Sign up for our free newsletter!