Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Trans Pacific Partnership and Monsanto


Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food.  The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included.  As of 2011 its 11 countries accounted for 30 percent of the world’s agricultural exports.  Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam.  Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.

Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP.  The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policy makers.  The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled.  The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.

The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique.  If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
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Legacies of other trade agreements that serve as a warning about the TPP have a history of displacing small farmers and destroying local food economies.  Ten years following the passage of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) 1.5 million Mexican farmers became bankrupt because they could not compete with the highly subsidized US corn entering the Mexican market. 

In the same 10 years Mexico went from a country virtually producing all of its own corn to a country that now imports at least half of this food staple.  Mexican consumers are now paying higher prices for Monsanto’s GMO corn.

With little or no competition for large corporations Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta now control 57 percent of the commercial food market.

While the TPP is in many ways like NAFTA and other existing trade agreements, it appears that the corporations have learned from previous experience.  They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides. 
If the TPP is adopted the door will be open wider for human rights and environmental abuse.
http://www.nationofchange.org/trans-pacific-partnership-and-monsanto-1372074730

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, April 29th, 2014.]

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