The pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will likely spark a “race to the bottom” for national policies that regulate everything from the air we breath to the food we eat and, according to a new report, the controversial pact is already pushing European governments to loosen key food safety standards.
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Put forth by the UK-based social justice organization Global Justice now, the report (pdf), published Sunday, highlights a component of the pact known as “regulatory cooperation” or “regulatory coherence,” which seeks to establish common standards between the United States and the European Union.
Under the provision, notes the group, multinational corporations are granted the opportunity to influence any new regulation—amounting to a “blueprint for corporate domination.”
“To most people regulations such as air pollution limits and food safety standards are common sense protections against dangerous threats,” said report author Alex Scrivener, who works as a campaigns officer at Global Justice Now. “But to big business, these are little more than tiresome barriers to increasing profits.”
Scrivener added that “Corporate lobbyists are pushing so hard for TTIP because this is one of the biggest chances they’ve ever had to systematically strip these protections away from citizens and consumers. TTIP isn’t really about trade, it’s about corporations rewriting the rule book as to how they’re allowed to operate.”
The study, which comes a day before international delegates will meet in Miami, Florida for the next round of negotiations, finds that even though it has not been signed, the trade agreement is already driving EU regulators to loosen or abandon certain food standards.
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