A treaty is being planned that will allow transatlantic agribusiness to undermine and override all the existing British and European regulations on food safety, and flood our market with foodstuffs treated with hormones, additives, antibiotics, toxic pesticides, and genetically modified organisms. Our rules introduced to protect human health and the natural environment will continue to apply to our farmers, but not to any global or American agricultural corporation wishing to supply the British market.
Food multinationals, seed producers, and agricultural chemical manufacturers have mounted a huge lobbying campaign to bring about a special treaty between the United States and the European Union. The declared purpose of the treaty [the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or T.T.I.P.] is designed to increase trade and the growth of national economies, and it is being pressed hard by our Government.
That’s what’s happening – here are the effects …
In theory it opens the American market to our agribusinesses. To have that effect we would have to scrap all British and European regulations governing public health and animal welfare, otherwise we could not compete in the American market with their own producers who are subject to either very lax regulations or no regulations at all.
Under the treaty our government and other European governments attempting to enforce an existing ban, or impose a new one, on the import of certain endocrine disrupting chemicals or on pesticides – or on genetically modified crops – could be sued by global corporations, Similarly if they insisted on animal welfare standards. The case against governments would be heard not by our national courts, nor according to our legal systems, but by a special tribunal staffed by corporate lawyers.
One of the effects – if not the direct intention of the treaty – would be the intensification and centralisation of British farming, with the majority of medium size and small farms being put out of business, and farm land passing into global corporate ownership.
All the negotiations are being handled in secret by the European Commission and the American government. No information on the terms and details of the Treaty are being given to the general public, nor to Members of the U.K. Parliament – other than to ministers – or to the members of the European Parliament.
If you feel strongly about the need to protect human rights, public health, the environment and animal welfare please work to force our government and the EU to make the terms of the T.T.I.P. public. Please help the farmers you know to fight the proposals which will ruin their livelihood. If your member of parliament is not forcing ministers to disclose the terms, he is letting you down and all his electorate. Here is a template of a letter you can adapt and use.
The experience of the last two decades is that it does not follow that what is beneficial to big business is beneficial to population as a whole. If it was so then they would not be keeping the terms and details of this treaty secret..