Agri-News

Trump’s EPA Pick Protects Corporate Backers over the Environment

IATP-2 - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:04

President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a record of hostility for environmental and public health protection at both state and federal levels. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt may be best known for suing the agency he hopes to lead 14 different times in an attempt to block EPA rules protecting the air and water. In his own state, Pruitt disbanded the Attorney General’s environmental protection unit and repeatedly sided with agribusiness and energy interests over protecting the environment.

In the 2016 election Pruitt supported and, according the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, inserted important language into a resolution that would have changed the state’s Constitution to prevent the state legislature and local governments from protecting their land and water from agriculture-related pollution “without a compelling state interest.” This so-called Right to Farm resolution was soundly rejected by Oklahomans at the ballot box.

Author(s) (external):  Ben Lilliston, Juliette Majot Feature Headline:  Trump’s Corporate EPA Pick Summary:  President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a record of hostility for environmental and public health protection at both state and federal levels. Image:  Flickr/CC credit:  gageskidmore

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Categories: Agri-News

Andrew Puzder: the narrowly avoided threat to food system workers

IATP-2 - Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:23

Just before this posting, Andrew Puzder withdraw from consideration for Secretary of Labor. We welcome this development for the reasons stated below.

If one believes, as we do at IATP, that the public sector has a role in ensuring the safety, prosperity, and dignity of work, then Puzder's nomination must be opposed strongly and without reserve.

Until last week, it was still unclear whether Andrew Puzder still wanted the position in the Trump administration for which he has been nominated, Secretary of Labor. Late to file his paperwork, Puzder was on the verge of going the way of other of Trump's nominees who could not untangle their personal fortune from themselves in order to enter public service. Of course, even with all the i's dotted and t's crossed to get to the hearing that is scheduled for February 16th, Puzder's professional history and apparent worldview make him a unique threat to the very department he's been nominated to run.

IATP author(s):  Ben Lilliston Feature Image:  Flickr/CC credit:  gageskidmore

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Categories: Agri-News

Help Protect Predators on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

Animal Welfare Institute - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 17:52

We urgently need your help to defeat H.J. Res. 69. Please contact your representative via email or telephone today to encourage him/her to oppose H.J. Res. 69. Send an email via AWI's Compassion Index or find your representative's and senators' contact information here.

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Categories: Agri-News

Tell APHIS to Restore Transparency

Animal Welfare Institute - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 10:24

APHIS recently scrubbed its website of key documents relating to enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA). Help AWI fight this egregious act that may well facilitate the abuse of animals. Please contact APHIS and ask the agency to make this data available online once again, allowing for real transparency under the AWA and HPA.

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Categories: Agri-News

Eight Questions for Trump’s Department of Agriculture pick

IATP-2 - Sun, 02/05/2017 - 22:44

The next Secretary of Agriculture will have to hit the ground running, because the manure is hitting the fan. Farm income has fallen for three straight years. The farm income to debt ratio is the highest since 1985. President Trump’s decision to tear up the Trans Pacific Partnership, pick a fight with Mexico and threaten other key trading partners limits the potential for expanded exports. Trump’s executive order to crackdown on new immigrants will likely disrupt dairy, fruit and vegetable production and meat processing in the U.S. A series of proposed seed/chemical company mergers threatens to greatly reduce farmers’ seed choices. And extreme weather events linked to climate change continue to disrupt agricultural production around the country.

For his part, President Trump seems to have put farmers and the rural economy on the back burner. Trump’s pick for Agriculture Secretary, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, was the last of his cabinet selections. Perdue is embedded in industrialized agriculture. He grew up on a farm, and has run businesses selling fertilizer, grain and a broad array of agricultural exports. But nothing in his background indicates he has the vision and leadership to address the big and increasingly complex challenges facing farmers today.

IATP author(s):  Ben Lilliston Dr. Steve Suppan Feature Image:  Flickr/CC credit:  usembassy_montevideo

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Categories: Agri-News

Mulvaney as Budget Director: destructive for nutrition, agriculture and the environment

IATP-2 - Wed, 02/01/2017 - 17:57

Next week, the U.S. Senate will consider President Donald Trump’s nominee to direct the presidential Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC). Mulvaney will propose huge spending cuts to compensate in part for the $10 trillion deficit that will be triggered by Trump’s promised tax cuts and infrastructure spending over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Part of those cuts will almost certainly hit federal child nutrition, agricultural research and conservation programs.

OMB is not only responsible for proposing the President’s budget to Congress, but also evaluates the costs and benefits of each and every federal regulatory action. In a press statement for the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards (CSS), IATP wrote, “Mulvaney would have approval and veto power over budgets to implement and enforce—or not—federal regulations. Under Republican deregulatory bills, only a rule’s costs, as claimed by industry, are evaluated, while its social, public health and environmental health benefits are ignored. Senate approval of Mulvaney would unleash a budgetary assault on agricultural conservation, food safety, nutrition programs and food assistance, farmer and food worker safety, food labeling, and other farm to fork rules.”

IATP author(s):  Dr. Steve Suppan Feature Image:  Flickr/CC credit:  gageskidmore

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Categories: Agri-News

Components of a larger system

IATP-2 - Tue, 01/31/2017 - 10:40
From the Executive Director

In his first week in office U.S. President Donald Trump has thrown his presidential weight behind executive orders, which if implemented, will have disastrous short- and long-term impacts on farmers, farm and food system workers, and ecosystems. He has signaled that his approach to renegotiating trade agreements will be autocratic and without regard for the rest of the world, further destabilizing an already quaking geopolitical reality. He has made clear his plans to unravel America’s history as a country of immigrants and religious tolerance, threatening to lock U.S. citizens into a future of isolationism as he locks out refugees and heightens racism and xenophobia.

IATP author(s):  Juliette Majot Feature Image: 

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Categories: Agri-News

Farm & Food groups call for new way on NAFTA

IATP - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 12:17
Subtitle:  U.S.-Mexico relations should be based on fair trade, not xenophobia Language:  English IATP author(s):  Karen Hansen-Kuhn Josh Wise File:  2017 NAFTA Principles IATP et al.pdf Excerpt/exec summary:  Washington, DC – President Trump’s call to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico has unsurprisingly incited the worst political crisis between the two countries in decades. That action, and the notion that a tax on Mexican imports (and U.S. consumers) could pay for the barrier, willfully ignore the real causes of declining livelihoods and increasing inequality, especially in rural areas.   President Trump has also said he will renegotiate NAFTA to benefit Americans or withdraw from it altogether. U.S family farm and food organizations counter that, rather than pitting people in one country against another, NAFTA must “be replaced with a different agreement with the goal of increasing living standards in all three countries.” Any renegotiation should start with an open assessment of NAFTA that includes both rural and urban communities, followed by a transparent negotiating process that eliminates the secrecy and backroom deals that has plagued past trade negotiations.   NAFTA has been controversial since its inception for promoting the interest of agribusiness and other multinational corporations over those of family farmers. In a statement of principles for NAFTA renegotiation, the groups asserted that U.S. trade deals “have contributed to the economic and social erosion of rural communities in the U.S. and oftentimes devastation of its trading partners and fail to address very real problems of price volatility and environmental sustainability.” 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feature Headline:  Farm & Food groups call for new Summary:  NAFTA re-negotiation must be good for people and the planet, not just mega corporations, say a collection of food and farm groups. Trump's rhetoric and actions against Mexico will only make things worse.

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Categories: Agri-News

Principles of a new U.S. trade policy for North American agriculture

IATP-2 - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 09:57

Endorsed by

Food & Water Watch
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
National Family Farm Coalition
National Farmers Union
R-CALF
Rural Coalition

Current U.S. trade policy is designed to promote the interests of agribusinesses and other multinational corporations over those of family farmers. The resulting agreements have contributed to the economic and social erosion of rural communities in the U.S. and oftentimes devastation of its trading partners and fail to address very real problems of price volatility and environmental sustainability. These problems will not be solved simply by increasing exports.

We support the demands of many civil society organizations who reject NAFTA and similar free-trade agreements. NAFTA should be replaced with a different agreement with the goal of increasing living standards in all three countries. This should start from a thorough, open and democratic assessment of those agreements that involves both rural and urban communities. The trade negotiation process itself must be made more transparent to include the participation of all affected sectors, including independent farmers. If trade agreements include provisions related to agriculture, the overall goal should be to achieve balanced trade that supports fair and sustainable rural economies and food supplies. We call for the following priorities:

IATP author(s):  IATP Feature Image: 

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Categories: Agri-News

Your Help Is Urgently Needed for Wolves

Animal Welfare Institute - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:15

Please help gray wolves by calling your members of Congress and urging them to oppose any and all attempts to delist wolves. Ask them to vote no on (H.R. 424) in the House and (S. 164) in the Senate.

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Categories: Agri-News

La producción industrial de aves de corral y las cepas mortales de la gripe aviar H5Nx

IATP-2 - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 01:00

Published with the kind permission of Noticias de Abajo.

Varios brotes mortales de gripe aviar H5 están diezmando las aves de corral de Europa, Asia y Oriente Medio.

La epidemia, que se extiende a través de Eurasia en oleadas sucesivas, es continuación de una erupción de gripe aviar H5N2 en los Estados Unidos, durante 2015. Todas las nuevas cepas, H5N2, H5N3, H5N5, H5N6, H5N8 y H5N9, denominadas en conjunto H5Nx, descienden del subtipo H5N1, que apareció por primera vez en China en 1997 y desde 2003 ha provocado la muerte de 452 personas.

Big Poultry y sus colaboradores del Gobierno están culpando de estos brotes a las aves acuáticas salvajes, que actuarían como reservorios de muchas cepas de virus de la gripe, y que infectarían a las aves de corral.

Por ejemplo, la investigación dirigida por Carol Cardona, profesora de la Universidad de Minnesota, que ocupa la Cátedra Pomeroy financiada por la Industria, afirma que el cambio climático está impulsando cambios en la ecología de las aves acuáticas salvajes y por lo tanto las aves de corral estarían más expuestas a los virus de la gripe, en Minnesota.

Contrariamente a lo que afirma la Industria, un muestreo exhaustivo realizado por ornitólogos del Estado de Minnesota no encontraron el virus de la gripe H5N2 en las aves acuáticas salvajes. Sin embargo, el equipo de Cardona sigue buscando el virus H5N2 en las muestras recogidas en la primavera de 2015 ¿Por qué? Simplemente porque afirma que el virus debe estar allí. La ausencia de pruebas supone un impedimento frente a la conveniencia en favor de la Industria sobre la naturaleza de los brotes de gripe aviar.

IATP author(s):  Robert G. Wallace Feature Image:  Image caption: 

Image used under creative commons license via Wikipedia from Naim Alel.

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Categories: Agri-News

Industrial production of poultry gives rise to deadly strains of bird flu H5Nx

IATP-2 - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 15:46

Multiple outbreaks of deadly H5 bird flu are decimating poultry across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

The epidemic, moving across Eurasia in wave after wave, follows an eruption of H5N2 here in the U.S. in 2015. All the new strains—H5N2, H5N3, H5N5, H5N6, H5N8, and H5N9, together called H5Nx—are descendants of the H5N1 subtype that first emerged in China in 1997 and since 2003 has killed 452 people. 

Big Poultry and its collaborators in government are blaming wild waterfowl, which act as reservoirs for many influenza strains, for the new poultry outbreaks.

IATP author(s):  Robert G. Wallace Feature Headline:  Bird Flu is Big Business Summary:  Multiple outbreaks of deadly H5 bird flu are decimating poultry across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Big Poultry and its collaborators in government are blaming wild waterfowl, rather than face the facts. Image:  Image caption: 

Image used under creative commons license via Wikipedia from Naim Alel.

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Tillerson’s damaging record of extraction and opposing climate action

IATP-2 - Mon, 01/23/2017 - 13:22

Rural communities in the U.S. and around the world are vulnerable to industries, often with headquarters elsewhere, who view local natural resources simply as an asset to be extracted. No global corporation better exemplifies this approach than the oil giant ExxonMobil. Now, President Donald Trump has nominated the company’s CEO, Rex Tillerson, to run the U.S. State Department. Tillerson’s damaging record at ExxonMobil, often at the expense of the public good and even U.S. security interests, should disqualify him from managing U.S. policy around the world.

Tillerson is deeply infused with ExxonMobil DNA, having spent his entire professional career of 41 years working at the company and serving as CEO since 2008. ExxonMobil operates in more than 100 countries. During Tillerson’s time at ExxonMobil the company has: aggressively advocated for corporate-friendly free trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); used past free trade deals to sue governments who try to regulate it; done deals with dictators and human rights violators; and all the while leading a multi-decade disinformation campaign to oppose action on climate change.

IATP author(s):  Ben Lilliston Feature Image:  Image caption: 

 Tar Sands processing facility

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Categories: Agri-News