Organic Consumers Association

Tell President Obama and U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman: Trade Agreements Shouldn't Be Secret!

Two new global trade agreements currently in negotiations pose serious threats to food safety, in the U.S. and other countries. Both agreements are being negotiated behind closed doors. The public and Congress, despite repeated requests for access to proposals and final draft texts, have been shut out. More than 600 multinational corporations and industry trade groups, however, have a seat at the negotiating table. And it gets worse. The Obama Administration intends to push the agreements through Congress using a Nixon-era process called Fast Track. Fast Track strips Congress of its authority to control the content of a trade deal and hands that authority over to the executive branch. Congress gets a vote, but only after the negotiations have been completed, and the agreements have been signed. No debate. No amendments. Just a fast, forced vote, too late for Congress to have any influence.

Please sign the letter below to President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. Tell them that global trade agreements that have the potential to undermine U.S. food safety regulations should be negotiated in full view, with input from the consumers, farmers and governments that will be affected by the agreements’ final policies. Moreover, negotiators should not be allowed to do an end run around Congress and democracy, just to grease the wheels of international trade for multinational corporations.

A few facts about the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

•    Under both agreements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consumers could soon be eating imported seafood, beef or chicken products that don’t meet even basic U.S. food safety standards and the FDA could be powerless to shut down imports of those unsafe food or food ingredients.

•    Congress and the public have been shut out of the negotiations, but more than
600 corporations and industry trade groups have a seat at the table.

•    Both agreements grant transnational corporations “special rights” that go far beyond those possessed by domestic businesses and American citizens. Experts who have reviewed the leaked texts say that TPP negotiators propose allowing transnational corporations to challenge countries’ laws, regulations and court decisions, including environmental and food safety laws. Corporations will be allowed to resolve trade disputes in special international tribunals. In other words, they get to do an end run around the countries’ domestic judicial systems, effectively wiping out hundreds, if not more, domestic and international food sovereignty laws.

•    Among the many gifts to Big Ag contained in the TTIP and TPP? 
Back-door entry for their genetically modified seeds and crops. Countries, including those in the European Union, could find it increasingly difficult to ban, or even require the labeling of, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), if biotech companies determine that those countries’ strict policies restrict fair trade and infringe on the companies’ “rights” to profit.

•    Both agreements would force the U.S. and other participating countries to “harmonize” food safety standards. That means all countries that sign on to the agreement would be required to abide by the lowest common denominator standards of all participating governments.

More on the TTIP and TPP here.

1-25 of 56169 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (optional)
56169 7 hours ago Wendy Fitzgerald Troutdale, OR
56168 2 days ago Anonymous Tallahassee, FL
56167 3 days ago Anonymous Lindenhurst, NY Mr. Obama,
Stop betraying the people that elected you. Do what is right for Humanity and stop serving Greed. Be different and courageous! Take the road less traveled, and end your politics!
56166 3 days ago Dennis Colvin Seal Rock, OR
56165 6 days ago Michele Cagnetta Phoenix, AZ
56164 6 days ago Albin Hansen Esacanaba, MI
56163 1 week ago John Brusen East Perth, Australia, ot I am a USA citizen living in Australia. The TPP is also being negotiated in secret from the Aussie side. This is NOT OK. No one trusts Tony Abbott or his appointed spokespersons to represent the wil...
56162 1 week ago annick wenckebach bar-sur-loup,
56161 1 week ago Albert Tahhan Quincy, MA
56160 1 week ago Lynne and Gene Olson Redmond, WA
56159 1 week ago Greg Gregg Berlin Heights, OH Stop the lies.... This is wrong and you know it...
56158 1 week ago Paul Naylor Eugene, OR
56157 1 week ago Anonymous Columbia Station, OH
56156 1 week ago Joanne Bass Manasquan, NJ
56155 2 weeks ago Anonymous MO
56154 2 weeks ago Mary Luketich Dripping Springs, TX
56153 3 weeks ago Sheila Culkin Evanston, IL
56152 3 weeks ago Anonymous Raleigh, NC
56151 3 weeks ago Una Franklin Lowth Mojacar, ot
56150 3 weeks ago nancy strong cornville, AZ
56149 3 weeks ago Natasha Hultmannn Anchorage, AK
56148 3 weeks ago Richard Tůma Prague, ot
56147 3 weeks ago marisa delmonaco redding, CT
56145 3 weeks ago j deville atlanta, GA
Next ->