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

May 2013

Comment on the 2013 Reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Posted May 20, 2013

Markets, Commodities

In the 113th Congress, already a dozen bills have been introduced to thwart the CFTC’s discretion to implement Title VII of the DFA, and indeed, to annul the legislative intent of the DFA itself. IATP has criticized these counter-reform initiatives by contributing to and supporting AFR’s detailed...

New report raises concerns about expansion of frac sand mines in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Posted May 15, 2013

Environment, Health, Rural Development

St. Paul – The true economic impact of frac sand mining may fall short of industry claims promising sustained prosperity and economic opportunity, says a first-of-its-kind expert report to be released Wednesday, May 15. By using currently available economic data, The Economic Benefits and Costs of Frac-Sand...

The Economic Benefits and Costs of Frac-Sand Mining in West Central Wisconsin

Posted May 15, 2013

Energy, Environment, Rural Development

Executive Summary A new technology to extract oil and natural gas from geological formations that lack the porosity to allow the oil and natural gas to flow into drilled wells has dramatically increased oil and natural gas production in the United States. Horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing (“...

FDA ignores toxic arsenic in animal feed

Posted May 1, 2013

Food and Health, Food, Food safety, Health, Toxics

Washington, D.C., May 1, 2013 – Today attorneys at Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit on behalf of CFS, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and seven other U.S. food safety, agriculture, public health, and environmental groups to compel FDA to respond to the groups’ three year-old...

April 2013

Arsenic complaint with exhibits filed

Posted April 30, 2013

Food and Health, Health, Toxics

 2013 lawsuit against the FDA filed by IATP, et al., concerning arsenic in animal feed. 

Nanomaterials in fertilizer products could threaten soil health, agriculture

Posted April 24, 2013

Agriculture, Environment, Nanotechnology

Minneapolis – Nanomaterials added to soil via fertilizers and treated sewage waste used to fertilize fields could threaten soil health necessary to keep land productive, says a new report released today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Peer-reviewed scientific research also indicates...

Back to the future: taxing finance

Posted April 23, 2013

Finance, Markets

In this era of budgetary obsession, we need to make sure everyone pays their fair share, even the well-protected financial services industry. Reinstating a small tax on financial trades would not only generate significant revenue, it would help stabilize markets that have caused so much turmoil in recent years. Such a...

Free trade versus food democracy

Posted April 17, 2013

Trade, Free trade agreements

April 17, 2013 – There has been a quiet revolution going around the world, as communities and nations retake control of their food systems. In the U.S., more people are taking a look at processed foods at the supermarket and opting instead for healthier choices, grown locally with fewer pesticides. People in...

Overdue reforms to food aid a welcome change in new Presidential budget

Posted April 10, 2013

Agriculture, Food, Globalization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget, released today, includes long-overdue changes to the way the U.S. distributes its food aid around the world. These changes will make aid more efficient—up to doubling the bang for each dollar spent—and they will help build...

March 2013

Nanomaterials In Soil: Our Future Food Chain?

Posted March 28, 2013

Agriculture, Nanotechnology

Overview To feed a growing population under increasing natural resource constraints, the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other international organizations are promoting “sustainable intensification” as the future of agricultural production.1 The application of...

Water Governance in the 21st Century

Posted March 28, 2013

Human Rights, Global Governance, Water

As water insecurities increase globally, there is an increasing emphasis on demand management approaches, which for the most part emphasize market mechanisms as a means to ensure water security for all. Water trading is one of the market-based mechanisms that helps transfer water from one user to another. This...

New petition asks FDA to prohibit yet another unnecessary antibiotic use

Posted March 15, 2013

Agriculture, Antibiotics, Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a petition submitted today to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), antibiotic use in ethanol production is illegal, unnecessary and adds to the catastrophic public health threat from antibiotic-resistant infections in humans. The petition, submitted by the Center for Food...

Citizen petition to prohibit or enjoin the use of antibiotics in the production of distillers grains sold as animal feed for food-producing animals

Posted March 15, 2013

Food and Health, Antibiotics, Livestock

In a boiled-down description, ethanol production is relatively simple.  An ethanol producer grinds up a starch-like feedstock such as corn, adds warm water to make a mash, adds yeast, and then waits as the yeast ferments the starch into ethanol and carbon dioxide. The liquid ethanol and carbon dioxide are...

Who’s at the Table? Demanding Answers on Agriculture in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted March 4, 2013

Agriculture, Trade, Free trade agreements, Globalization

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional free-trade agreement (FTA) in history, both because of the size of the economies participating in the negotiations and because it holds open the possibility for other countries to quietly “dock in” to the existing...

Ambition in the agriculture sector

Posted March 1, 2013

Agriculture, Climate, Climate Change, United Nations

Overview: Agriculture and the climate change challenge Agriculture plays a central role in providing global food security and ensuring rural livelihoods for two-thirds of the developing world and 40 percent of the world’s population; it is undoubtedly a unique sector. Linkages between agriculture and climate...

February 2013

Joint Group ADUFA Letter to HELP

Posted February 26, 2013

Food and Health, Health, Livestock

Joint letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding ADUFA.

Groups welcome the release of administration proposal for international food aid reform

Posted February 26, 2013

Food Assistance, Commodities, Food security, Global Governance

Washington, D.C., February 26, 2013 – The below groups welcome reports that the Administration may propose helpful reforms to the U.S. food assistance program in its FY2014 budget submission to Congress. We urge the Obama Administration to include a bold reform proposal that builds upon the United States’...

Land Grabs and Fragile Food Systems

Posted February 20, 2013

Food, Globalization, Land Grab

Executive Summary IATP has worked on trade and agriculture for more than 25 years. In all that time, we have consistently argued that trade agreements need to respect and promote human rights, not drive a process of globalization that privileges commercial interests and pushes public interests aside. This paper...

The end of the Farm Bill?

Posted February 4, 2013

Agriculture, Farm Bill, Food

February 4, 2013 – “There is absolutely no way to explain this other than agriculture is just not a priority,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on the Senate Floor on New Year’s Day. She was describing the bare-bones Farm Bill extension agreed to as part of the stop-...