Despite its Earth-shattering status as one of the biggest and most controversial trade deals we’ve seen in many years, the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) has received very little coverage in the U.S. media.
But protests and opposition to this Pro-Corporate Dream Bill has raged across Europe. And in America, another similar deal that directly affects us, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) looms in Congress. If passed, the TTP will make passage of the TTIP easier.
In Europe alone, over 3 million signatures have been gathered by the website Stop TTIP.
This past Saturday, over 250,000 people turned out against the secretive trade deal in what’s being called the biggest rally in Germany in many, many years — and with what’s at stake for people who care about GMOs, food and chemical standards and national sovereignty from corporations, it’s easy to understand why.
Dangers of the TTIP – Monsanto’s Dream Deal?
While Americans fight for the right to GMO labeling and stop the DARK Act here, as many as 19 countries in the EU have instituted bans on GMOs, including Germany. But if passed the TTIP could create several avenues for the United States to spread its unwanted to GMOs and chemical products.
In Berlin, among the 250,000+ protesters were environmental groups and anti-corporate globalization groups. They marched from the main railway station in central Berlin to the nation’s parliamentary building. One group even dragged a giant “Trojan Horse” through the streets to demonstrate how the deal is being rammed through with no regard to the damage it would do to everyday people.
“We are here because we do not want to leave the future to markets, but on the contrary to save democracy,” said Michael Mueller, president of the ecological organization German Friends of Nature.
If passed, the TTIP could:
-Enable U.S. companies investing in Europe to bypass European courts and challenge EU governments at international tribunals (more info)
-Put Europe under pressure to accept risky technologies like GMOs and fracking
-Allow for banned pesticides to be used in Europe; currently there are 82 used in the U.S. that are banned by the continent
-Allow “Codex Alimentarius” standards to be adopted rather than the strict stance against harmful chemicals taken by the European Food Safety Authority
Stopping to TPP at Home (and Big Pharma)
As mentioned earlier the TPP is the first step in this trade deal juggernaut that has been crafted in secrecy on behalf of multi-national corporations. Organizations such as Food & Water Watch are urging people to contact their reps. in Congress asking them to reject the TPP.
With so many acronyms out there and so much going on it’s easy to get confused.
But the TPP is essentially a trade deal with the U.S. and these countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. According to recent leaks the TPP is heavily biased in favor of drug companies and could lead to unsafe food imports from other countries.
It could also force generic drugs to take even longer for approval, putting people who take certain prescriptions at the mercy of drug companies, which could lead to serious drug price increases.
“There’s very little distance between what Pharma wants and what the U.S. is demanding,” said Rohit Malpini, director of policy for Doctors Without Borders, to Politico in this article.
“The highly technical 90-page document, cluttered with objections from other TPP nations, shows that U.S. negotiators have fought aggressively and, at least until Guam, successfully on behalf of Big Pharma,” wrote Michael Grunwald in the article, which also expresses concerns over intellectual property rights. The TTP has been called “the biggest global threat to the Internet.”
If you’d like to voice your opinions on the TPP, which was finalized this month is still yet to be voted on, you can contact Congress by clicking here.
One opponent is Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who released the following video about the dangers of the TTP and other trade bills.
The TTP likely won’t be voted on until 2016, but that gives us plenty of time to learn and let our reps know how we feel. This is how Grayson feels: