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 56252 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (optional)
56252 4 days ago Alisondra Freybe Fort St. John , BC
56251 3 weeks ago Angela White Lancaster, CA STOP this Secret back room Dealing! AMERICA is VERY concerned about out Food Safety! We don't want your POISONS in our FOOD! We don't want UNNATURAL Food or DANGEROUS Chemicals in our FOOD! YOu ...
56250 3 weeks ago Anonymous Colorado Springs, CO
56249 4 weeks ago Anonymous IL
56248 1 month ago Thomas Hogg
56247 1 month ago Alan Larkin NC
56246 1 month ago Angela Powers bradenton, FL
56245 1 month ago Sian Lewis ot
56244 1 month ago Sian Lewis ot
56243 1 month ago shad williams Centerville, Select a state
56242 1 month ago Shelton Townley Knightdale, NC These two trade agreements will make massive negative and irreversible changes to our food supply. Fast tracking them will eliminate any oversight or even knowledge of the changes and their ramific...
56241 1 month ago Anonymous Sisters, OR How come we're letting Corporations dictate what we eat again? I think the people of this country have made it clear that THEY want the choice, not the corporations. Government is supposed to prot...
56240 1 month ago Gillian Locascio Tacoma, WA
56239 1 month ago Mike LaCoco FLOWER MOUND, TX
56238 1 month ago Holly Cowan North Bend, WA What a sham for trade and profit. And what a disgrace for your administration. Don't allow these secret negotiations to continue. Our country is not now or ever been based on these values. I underst...
56237 1 month ago Anonymous Portland, OR
56236 1 month ago Anonymous CO
56235 1 month ago Nancy de la Garza Toledo, OH
56234 1 month ago H. George Modlin Kansas City, MO
56233 1 month ago Ute Saito Portland, OR
56232 1 month ago Brenda Lahm Ceresco, NE
56231 1 month ago jim schaefer Tryon, NC food quality should meet at least our countries standards.
56230 1 month ago JW ON bonney Lake, WA
56229 1 month ago Janet Martucci Roanoke, VA
56228 1 month ago Peter Korba Boulder , CO Local is always better. Local meaning the ability to make and retain a countries own laws.
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