Looming Law: International Pact Could Lower Food Protections
Feb 28, 2014 12:29PM
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest global trade pact to be negotiated since the inception of the World Trade Organization. Many details remain a mystery and negotiations are being conducted in secret. Leaked drafts of its provisions indicate that the TPP would give multinational corporations the power to sue countries, states, counties or cities in order to negate laws specifically designed to protect citizens, such as bans on growing genetically modified organisms (GMO). Corporations would be allowed to resolve trade disputes in special international tribunals, effectively wiping out hundreds of domestic and international food sovereignty laws.
The TPP would require countries to accept food that meets only the lowest safety standards of the collective participants. If enacted, consumers could soon be eating imported seafood, beef or chicken products that don’t meet basic U.S. food safety standards, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be powerless to stop imports of such unsafe foods or ingredients. Plus, the labeling of products as fair trade, organic, country-of-origin, animal welfare-approved or GMO-free could be challenged as barriers to trade.
Opposition has grown, thanks to petitions by members of the Organic Consumers Association and other groups. More than 400 organizations, representing 15 million Americans, have petitioned Congress to do away with accelerated acceptance of the measure without full debate.
For more information, visit OrganicConsumers.org and search TPP.