30 Sep 2013

Scary deals considering our food

How new 'free' trade deal aids Monsanto

Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional free-trade agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included.

As of 2011, 11 countries accounted for 30% of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations. Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP.

The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policymakers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of US Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.

The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui. If ratified, the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented rights to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.

My biggest worry: 
The labelling of foods containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) will not be allowed. Japan now has labelling laws for GMOs in food. Under the TPP Japan would no longer be able to label GMOs. This situation is the same for New Zealand and Australia. The US is just beginning to see some progress towards labeling GMOs. Under the TPP GMO labels for US food would not be allowed.
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