As we speak, the U.S. Congress is pushing for legislation that would put the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) into a “fast track” mode – and, if you care at all about biotech’s handle on the global food supply, then please, read on.
If you haven’t yet heard of TPP, here’s some background info: since 2010, negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade agreement, have been in place to open from its original signing countries of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore, to include Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and the United States.
Normally, in the U.S, the majority of so-called free trade agreements are implemented as congressional-executive agreements. Unlike treaties, congressional-executive agreements require a majority of the House and Senate to pass. In early 2012, President Obama’s administration requested a “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority, which would bypass much of the requirements and allow the implementation of TPP to pass through with minimal debate.
Now, the TPP means a lot of different things for trade between the various countries involved, but, for those concerned about biotech’s control of the global food supply, we can note that the agreement would have incredibly scary implications.
The highly-secretive agreement has been, according to a flier published by Wetlands Preserve Collective entitled “Monsanto’s Dirty Secret: TPP,” “negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet.”
And there’s more: “The Obama administration, guided by Monsanto and other agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies, is pushing for rules that put corporate greed ahead of food safety and consumers’ right to know what we’re eating.”
How would it work? Well, behind closed-door negotiations, part of the TPP plan involves large corporations (such as Monsanto) “inducing the U.S. to put their preferred intellectual property, environmental, food safety and capital-markets laws into force,” according to the information compiled via the flier.
If Monsanto is allowed this sort of control, it would allow cultivation of GMOs in all TPP countries “and will also act to prevent mandatory GMO labeling in order to integrate GMOs into the food supply while removing traceability and accountability.”
As a result, it’s possible that “U.S. environmental, food safety and labeling laws and rules will be overruled by Monsanto under the TPP without a direct democratic vote on any issue.”
No vote? Say what?!
For a full list of the ways in which TPP could impact the food supply (as well as many other areas of contention, including the environment, food security, farming regulation, and more), read on. You can also check out GMO Free USA’s summarized list here. Scariest point made? “The TPP will abolish GMO labels as a barrier to trade.” Be sure to also check out the growing list of companies standing in public opposition to the TPP’s passing here, including Sierra Club, Reddit, and the Rainforest Action Network, among others.
Then, if you’re moved to do so, take action. On the Fight for the Future site, you can also find a plan of action and a full list of ways you can help discourage the fast track of TPP.
Stop Fast Track has deemed Jan. 22 to 31 as the official 10 days to help stop the fast track of TPP. Let’s get moving!