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

Document Library

Format: 2014

September 2014

Scientists’ Support Letter for the International Symposium on Agroecology, 18–19 September, 2014

Posted September 17, 2014

Agriculture, Agroecology

As scientists and scholars working in sustainable agriculture and food systems, the undersigned praise the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for organizing and convening the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food and Nutrition Security. This symposium comes at an opportune time as...

No Time to Lose: 147 Studies Supporting Public Health Action to Reduce Antibiotic Overuse in Food Animals*

Posted September 8, 2014

Agriculture, Antibiotics, Health

147 Studies Supporting Public Health Action to Reduce Antibiotic Overuse in Food Animals*

An open letter to the European Commission US-EU trade negotiators

Posted September 3, 2014

Free trade agenda, Trade, TTIP, Free trade agreements

RE: The safety of Europe’s food is under threat in US-EU trade talks Dear Commissioner De Gucht, Cc. EC Spokesman Mr. Valero-Ladrón, We are writing to respond to claims by the European Commission (EC) that there is “no contradiction” in the US-EU trade talks with the “enforcement of high...

August 2014

Whose Century Is It?: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Food and the “21st-Century Trade Agreement”

Posted August 27, 2014

Agriculture, Trade, Food, Free trade agreements, Globalization

The future of trade deals? In the final year of the George W. Bush presidency, the U.S. entered into negotiations to establish a gargantuan new trade deal. The negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently involve 12 countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico...

Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights

Posted August 21, 2014

Tar Sands, Climate Change, Energy, Environment

Introduction Neoliberalism exacerbates climate change and codifies the subjugation of indigenous communities through trade agreement rules that allow corporations to control natural resources and challenge government regulations. Liberalized trade and economic regimes promote policies that incentivize unrestricted...

Maine Agriculture and Food Systems in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Posted August 15, 2014

Free trade agenda, TTIP, Free trade agreements

Executive Summary The negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began with a series of bold assertions that it would serve to jump start the two ailing economies, resulting in rising economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic. Tariffs are already quite low. The...

Leaked CETA draft text, August 2014

Posted August 13, 2014

Free trade agenda, Trade, Free trade agreements

Leaked CETA draft text, release August 13, 2014.  Download the full document.

Scientist call for diversity on NAS GMO panel

Posted August 7, 2014

Gender, GMO

A group of 64 scientists raised concerns over the panel selected by the National Academy of Sciences for its new study on genetically engineered crops, arguing that the group “does not contain the necessary expertise required” to fully answer the questions at hand. The panel put together for the study, entitled "...

From GMO to SMO: how synthetic biology evades regulation

Posted August 7, 2014

Food, GMO

Products derived from synthetic biology (popularly called synbio), a rapidly growing new technology, are beginning to enter the marketplace without a regulatory framework in place that provides for pre-market safety assessment of its unique risks to health and the environment. In the very near future, a host of food...

July 2014

Leaked document reveals US-EU trade agreement threatens public health, food safety

Posted July 24, 2014

Trade, TTIP, Food safety, Free trade agreements

WASHINGTON D.C. – A draft chapter of the U.S-EU trade agreement leaked today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reveals public health and food safety could be at risk, according to an accompanying analysis. The leaked chapter concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues—those...

Analysis of the draft Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) chapter on food safety, and animal and plant health issues (proposed by the European Commission, as of June 27, 2014)

Posted July 23, 2014

Trade, TTIP, Food safety, Free trade agreements

Trade agreements have a profound influence on how regulations to protect public health and how we produce food are developed, implemented and enforced or not enforced. U.S. and EU food safety regulations in the U.S. and the EU often set the bar for such standards around the world. There is much at stake in the wording...

TTIP – Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues – Draft SPS chapter

Posted July 23, 2014

Trade, TTIP, Food safety, Free trade agreements

 Leaked draft TTIP chapter on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues.  Download full document.

A Farmer and Landowner Guide to Pollinators and Neonicotinoids

Posted July 17, 2014

Agricultural Technology, Agriculture, Environment

Pollinators are essential to the environment and our food supply. Nearly one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat relies on a pollinator, and they have been shown to boost crop yield and quality, providing clear economic benefits to farmers. Most people know that bees are pollinators, but there are many others,...