How TPP Threatens Our Food System

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The text of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP), negotiated by 12 countries representing around 40 percent of the global economy, was released on November 12. There are thousands of pages of text, the majority of which has nothing to do with trade issues such as tariffs and quotas, but rather with setting the rules that will govern everything from food safety to patent and medicines to labor conditions and wages.

Genetically engineered crops and foods

The TPP threatens any serious limitation on genetically engineered foods. Although this portion of the text still isn’t available, the USDA’s website states: “The TPP … includes provisions on agricultural biotechnology that commit TPP countries to foster transparency in their decision-making processes, to work together on situations of low-level presence, and to promote timely authorization of products of modern biotechnology.”

Translating that into regular English: Agribusiness and biotech companies will be able to use international tribunals to challenge countries that ban GMO imports, test for GMO contamination, do not promptly approve new GMO crops, or even require GMO labeling.…

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