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 56286 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (optional)
56286 6 days ago Kathy McComas Plato, MO
56285 2 weeks ago Christer Fäldt Falköping, ot
56284 3 weeks ago Richard W. Acles Manistee, MI
56283 3 weeks ago Roland Buck Arlington Heights, IL Excluding labor representatives and representatives from the environmental movement from the negotiations, but including representatives of corporations is totally outrageous.
56282 3 weeks ago Kerstin Kvisler Orbyhus, WI
56281 3 weeks ago nancy strong cornville, AZ
56280 1 month ago shirley walters bristolville, OH keep our food safe. 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 agreement.
keep our r...
56279 1 month ago Ruth Thomas Los Banos, CA
56278 1 month ago Amelia Josephine Matlock Wood River, NE
56277 1 month ago Anonymous NY
56275 1 month ago shawnda jarvis alexandria, IN
56274 2 months ago Karen O'Leary Austin, TX
56273 2 months ago Anonymous Carbondale, IL This is just so wrong! Plain ole why should we ever trust our government wrong.
56272 2 months ago Rajinder Gill Cardiff, GB+X5 GET THE POISONED CORPORRUPTIONS....
56271 3 months ago Anonymous Richmond, VA
56270 4 months ago j. Woodworth Newman Lk., WA
56269 4 months ago Montgomery Norton Napa, CA
56268 4 months ago Vickie Ellers canandaigua, NY
56267 4 months ago REBECCA SNYDER Winter Springs, FL
56266 4 months ago j. Woodworth Newman Lk., WA
56265 4 months ago Anonymous Bella Vista, AR Please do away with the Fast Track program. Congress should have full access to proposals and drafts and vote on them before our country signs any such trade agreements like TTIP or TPP.
56264 4 months ago Randall Gentry CA
56263 4 months ago Peter Karlock Ventura, CA
56262 4 months ago Carmine Coppola Beverly Hills, CA
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