(May 19-23): The fifth round of TTIP talks – (Transatlantic version of the TTP) – will commence in Arlington, Virginia this week. Food and farm issues being negotiated under TTIP include: GE crops, GE labelling, animal drugs and hormones, animal welfare, livestock antibiotics, chemically-washed poultry, nanotechnology.
“Many people don’t know that these secret negotiations may undermine efforts on both sides of the Atlantic to protect our food, our health, and our environment,” “Trade agreements, such as TTIP, profoundly impact our food and our farms. Education is the first step toward participation.” ~ Debbie Barker, international programme director, Center for Food Safety.
A Centre for Food Safety report also examines the “highly undemocratic, non-transparent TTIP negotiating process.” Additionally, it explores how powerful enforcement mechanisms, such as investor-state provisions, can leap frog over domestic food and public health regulations.
Download the report here. Trade Matters: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—Impacts on Food and Farming.
Little discussed is how agricultural trade policies impact food, the environment, and society. For example, a few decades ago, most food was grown primarily for local populations. However, today, the average plate of food travels 1500 miles before landing on your dinner table. This contributes to major environmental crises of our time including global warming and also impacts food safety and rural economies. Another example, when the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) opened the door to a flood of highly subsidized U.S. corn imports into Mexico, nearly 2.5 million Mexicans dependent on farms lost their livelihoods. As a result, immigration rates into the U.S. spiked as Mexican farmers and laborers came to the United States in search of work.
“What industry and trade officials often refer to as ‘trade barriers’ are actually democratically crafted food safety and public health safeguards,” added Barker. “Those of us concerned about the food we feed our families must get involved before it is too late.”