“Free Trade” Puts Our Food Supply in Danger!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses each year in the United States. The scary thing about that number is that it is expected to increase if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are signed.
Some might not know that many cases of food-borne illness here in the United States are due to imported food not being inspected carefully enough. With such a large chunk of the U.S. public falling ill from consuming food sold in supermarkets, it is outrageous that more effective measures have not been taken to halt the rate of food imports from foreign countries.
Under the TPP and TTIP, two harmful “free trade” agreements currently being negotiated, the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) would essentially be stripped of the power to stop imports of unsafe food and to conduct extensive food safety inspections.
If the FDA even tries to skirt around the impending rules binding them to inaction, greedy multinationals – who only care about money and power – will be able to sue our government for impeding future profits.
The TPP and TTIP would completely re-write the current food safety standards of the U.S. and other countries who participate in the agreements. Essentially, a level playing field would be created, where every participating country would have to abide by the “lowest common denominator standards of all participating countries.”
This means that even though the United States is capable of carrying out extensive food inspections on our imports to keep our people safe, the TPP and TTIP would make it so that we’d have to lower our standards to accommodate less developed countries who want to trade with us. Basically, both of these agreements will force the United States to accept toxic imports in the name of “free trade.”
All of this seems odd, considering President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act 2 years ago. The Food Safety Modernization Act is a vast piece of legislation intended to grant the FDA more power to hold food suppliers responsible for food-borne illness outbreaks.
While some parts of the law have been enacted, the vast majority of the law’s regulatory framework remains in limbo. In fact, much of the legislation sits in the White House Office of Management and Budget collecting dust. It may never be implemented because our administration has changed its mind on protecting the health of U.S. citizens in favor of pleasing greedy multinational corporations in the food industry who will benefit from the TPP and TTIP.
Because the TPP and TTIP would effectively allow unsafe, toxic food to enter U.S. markets unchecked, more and more people will be exposed to health risks, such as food-borne illnesses. In 2012, 48 million people suffered from food-borne illnesses; that number is much too high. How many more people are going to suffer because our government continues to sign on and support these disastrous “free trade” agreements that only benefit the 1% crowd?