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 56197 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (optional)
56197 1 day ago Anonymous FL
56196 1 day ago Imogene Burkhart Evansville, IN
56195 2 days ago Joe Gady Argos, IN
56194 5 days ago Anonymous Moncton, NB
56193 1 week ago Art Smith Seattle, WA
56192 1 week ago Sandra Schott Whitefish, MT
56191 2 weeks ago Laurie Vannoy Barre, MA
56190 3 weeks ago Anonymous Fort Collins, CO
56189 3 weeks ago Anonymous Fort Collins, CO President Obama,

Consumers in Colorado are very health conscious and go to extreme
lengths to buy organic products. To
try and sneak Trade Agreements
through Congress with Fa...
56188 4 weeks ago Susan McMurtrie Providence, RI Don't hold your breath waiting for politicians to do the right thing, force change by buying organic or non-GMO. Any extra cost is justified by the higher nutrient content and better taste, not to m...
56187 4 weeks ago Susan dixon Colorado springs, CO
56186 1 month ago Brenda Estrada CA
56185 1 month ago Gailann Taklalsingh Valley Stream, NY IT SHOULDNT BE A SECRET!!!!!!!!!
56184 1 month ago Brenda Bufalino New York city, NY Somehow the president is missing some important earth threatening information about dangers of Fracking and GMO seeds food and pesticides. We must not fast them to other countries or our own. Sincer...
56183 1 month ago Tracy Dand Long Beach, CA
56182 1 month ago Michael Nelsen DeKalb, IL
56181 1 month ago Tamryn Doolan Mesa, AZ Everything your wife stands for you are now destroying. Stop this behavior right now. You know this is not right. Do you think your children's children will not need food? Wake up or get out.
56180 2 months ago Anonymous Plano, TX
56179 2 months ago Malissa Johnson Roseburg, OR
56178 2 months ago Lawrence Merlino Saugerties, NY
56177 2 months ago Mark Bastian Eltopia, WA
56176 2 months ago Mark Bastian Eltopia, WA
56175 3 months ago Priscilla Sieckman Oak Ridge, TN
56174 3 months ago Charles Parrish Ocala, FL no secrets please
56173 3 months ago Courtney Yates GA
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