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Leaked: Secret text exposes food safety dangers in U.S.-Europe trade deal

Posted Jul. 24, 2014 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secret text of provisions of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership -- that would lower food safety protections in the U.S. and Europe -- was leaked to the press and public today. Friends of the Earth is alarmed by revelation of plans to use the TTIP trade agreement to mount a stealth attack on sensible, public health safeguards on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy  released the draft version of the central text of the TTIP chapter on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures; this chapter imposes restrictions on government regulations related to food safety and animal and plant health. Among the many provisional threats to public health safeguards are:

  • A form of mutual recognition of the safety of imported food from Europe in the U.S. and vice versa that reduces standards to the lowest levels;
  • An objective that food safety safeguards should generally be enforced in the least trade restrictive manner, rather than the manner that is most protective of public health and the environment; and 
  • A system of “exporter country certification” that would  sharply reduce food safety inspections at ports of entry.

Bill Waren, Senior trade analyst at Friends of the Earth, had this to say about the leaked TTIP text on food safety:

The draft  food safety provisions in the U.S.-European Union trade deal appears to have been written with only the selfish interests of big agri-business in mind. Food safety standards would not be harmonized in a thoughtful way. Rather, sensible food safety and public health safeguards would be lowered to the lowest common denominator. It’s time to end the secrecy and corporate influence on the transatlantic trade negotiations. It’s time our leaders paid attention to the interests of consumers, family farmers and the environment.

Links to supporting documents:
Leaked text of key TTIP food safety provisions
IATP analysis of leaked TTIP food safety provisions

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Expert Contact: Bill Waren, (202) 222-0746, wwaren@foe.org
Communications Contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

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