By Collective Ireland
TTIP is an assault on what you eat and where you live.
American industry does not have the same food safety and environmental protection standards as its European competitors.
The relatively high standard of European production and the legal precautions in place to protect health and the environment massively restrict the import and sale of American produce to the EU marketplace.
The American government has explicitly stated that TTIP will be used to remove food safety regulations that restrict profit and market access to American corporations.
The EU employs precautionary principle in the regulation of foodstuffs. This means that even a risk of danger or damage to human health causes the withdrawal of suspect produce from the market. This approach also forces the producer to prove beyond doubt that their produce is safe for human consumption.
Corporate interest has lobbied successfully in America to ensure that their approach to food safety regulation is the polar opposite to that of the EU – in the US, the consumer must prove that produce is indeed a danger to health before the producer is forced to recall product from the market.
Harmonisation, or regulatory convergence of food safety laws, is a confirmed priority for the US TTIP negotiating team.
Genetically modified food is almost completely absent from the European market, yet over 70% of all processed food on the American market contains genetically modified ingredients. The precautionary principle for the most part disallows genetically modified ingredients on the basis that the process and products of genetic modification cannot be proved damaging to human health.
TTIP will address this disparity in favour of American corporations on the basis that GM foods cannot be proved detrimental to human health, and the consequent market competition will force European crop producers to accept genetic modification – a contamination that there will be no stepping back from.
TTIP will introduce American beef into the EU market. Over 90% of US produced beef is laden with growth hormones banned by the EU since 1988. These hormones are linked to breast, prostate and colon cancer in humans; these hormones cause developmental and reproductive problems, and they have a particularly harmful effect on asthma sufferers, of which Ireland has a disproportionately high number. Again, the precautionary principle will be reversed as unnecessarily restrictive to American business interests.
Chlorinated chicken and turkey, banned in the EU since 1997 will also be introduced to the European market. Chlorine attacks the human body on a cellular level. If that doesn’t upset you, picture your chicken fillet being fished from a swimming pool full of poultry carcasses. TTIP will reverse, or negate, the precautionary principle as unnecessarily restrictive to American business interests.
The US market sprays its pork with lactic acid. Exposure to lactic acid may cause peptic ulcers and does aggravate Irritable Bowel Syndrome in humans. The EU changed its laws in 2013 to allow lactic spraying of beef. They didn’t really publicise this because while the Americans don’t seem to mind passing blood, the Europeans most definitely will.
Understand: there is such a difference in food safety regulation between the EU and the US that any negotiation that leads to regulatory harmonisation will only ever lower standards and therefore levels of food safety for European consumers.
On an environmental level, there has been much alarm at the anticipated impact of hormone residue in animal excrement and its contamination of soil, surface and groundwater. This has already been proven to have a substantial effect on the gender and reproductive capacity of fish.
In much the same way as the precautionary principle in food safety regulation will be negated by TTIP, the control and use of toxic chemicals will also face deregulation after successful ratification of TTIP.
To put this into perspective know that in the US, since 1976, environmental protection agencies have succeeded in introducing control measures on only 6 of the 85,000 chemicals currently in commercial use, while the EU has a list of 1200 chemicals banned from use in the production of cosmetics alone. TTIP will also remove the EU ban on animal testing, again as unnecessarily restrictive to American business interests.
The EU has also confirmed that the best case scenario following TTIP ratification will create an extra 11 Million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, causing immediate degradation of ecosystems and a direct undermining of a Kyoto Protocol adopted in theory by the EU but ignored by the USA.
TTIP will also allow for full commercial development of ‘fracking’ and will safeguard business interests by providing legislative protection for mining companies wishing to operate in EU member states currently engaging a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing. Fracking destroys the landscape and poisons the environment. This alone will cause irreparable damage to Ireland’s 4.5 Billion Euros per year tourism industry. It is also an enormous waste of the water we’re all being encouraged to conserve, and water used in fracking is unrecyclable.
TTIP will force food safety and environmental protection standards to drop in a race to accumulate profit. It is a corporate, government sponsored assault on what you eat and where you live.
You should really do something about that.