Food en Wed, 06 Sep 2023 16:55:52 +0000 The Farm Bill Uprooted Episode Five: Insecure <span>The Farm Bill Uprooted Episode Five: Insecure</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/34898" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Lilly Richard</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/06/2023 - 11:55</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Farm Bill shapes our food and farm system in the U.S., and, through the Nutrition Title, helps millions of Americans afford food. But with nutrition assistance programs like SNAP vulnerable to cuts, and rural food access weakened by decades of corporate consolidation, how well is the Farm Bill really serving eaters?</p></div> Wed, 06 Sep 2023 16:55:52 +0000 Lilly Richard 45032 at Uprooted Episode 21: Food and Ag in China <span>Uprooted Episode 21: Food and Ag in China</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-audio field--type-file field--label-hidden field--item"><audio controls="controls"> <source src="/sites/default/files/2018-02/Uprooted%20%2321%20-%20Food%20and%20Ag%20in%20China.mp3" type="audio/mpeg" /> </audio> </div> </div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/josh-wise" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Josh Wise</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:28</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Josh is joined by Jim Harkness, former IATP President, and current advisor on China. We're talking about what the Chinese agricultural system looks like, what China's growing demand for meat and other foods means on a global scale, and how sustainable farmers in China are organizing to promote better practices in the system. </p> <p>You can find China Food Watch, which we talk about in the episode, here: <a href=""></a></p></div> Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:28:27 +0000 Josh Wise 43580 at “Right-Sizing” Regulation and Regulatory Programs <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > The Wrong Way to Protect Food and Agriculture </h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/dr-steve-suppan" hreflang="en">Dr. Steve Suppan</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/2018-01/biosecurity_andrewbain.jpg?itok=fv2K6nqL" width="950" height="590" alt="Biosecurity" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="">andrewbain</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This piece is part of an assessment of damage wrought in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency and the 115th Congress, including thoughts about what we might expect next and what we can and must do about it. In six articles, we offer a critical assessment of the impact of gale-force political winds on agriculture and trade, farmers and rural communities. We consider the storm’s impacts on food system workers, the environment, food safety, and food security. And we describe how the actions of the Trump Administration and Congress have, in one year, established a pattern of cynical disregard for rural communities, hostility toward science, and an unbridled scorn for the principles and practice of democratic governance.</p> <hr /><p>Every presidential administration inherits the problems and the resources of the previous administration. An administration’s performance should be judged by how it has applied resources to the problems it inherits. In the case of agricultural and food safety management, the Trump administration has chosen to cut budgetary and personnel resources, eliminate or delay implementation of regulations, or not enforce them. Deregulation monitors, such as that of the <a href="">Brookings Institute</a> only capture part of the assault on public protections, including that on food, agriculture and rural communities.</p> <p>For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture <a href="">report</a> in December 2017 on the economic impact of the avian influenza epidemic of 2014-2015 indicates that USDA will continue to limit research to wild bird flyways as the main source of the outbreak. In January 2017, IATP <a href="">reported</a> on research demonstrating that new flu strains “are increasingly influenzas adapted to intensively raised poultry” practices. According to Dr. Rob Wallace, university researchers will be discouraged from investigating Confined Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) as an incubator of bird flu.</p> <h2>Blocking Regulation on Genetic Engineering</h2> <p><a href="">Despite withdrawing in November</a> a proposed USDA rule for agriculture products derived from new genetic engineering techniques, the Trump administration has not begun new rulemaking. Instead, the USDA continues to deregulate such products as mushrooms and apples engineered to not turn brown after being cut. <a href="">In July</a>, IATP anticipated that under the guidance of USDA deregulation chief Rebeckah Adcock, a former pesticide industry lobbyist, the Trump administration would support biotech industry demands to not regulate. <a href="">IATP</a> and others had proposed to regulate the GE cropping systems based on public and peer-reviewed studies, rather than those based on confidential industry studies and data.</p> <p>In October, <a href="">IATP reported</a> on how Trump deregulatory practices and industry demands were translated into U.S. proposals to trade agricultural biotechnology products under a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. IATP also outlined the Trump administration’s response to the dicamba herbicide’s <a href="">damage of more than 3.6 million acres of crops</a> (as of October 15, 2017), due to dicamba’s high chemical volatility, which harms crops not genetically engineered to resist dicamba. One farmer said that the need to buy dicamba-resistant seeds or risk losing the crop was <a href="">“tantamount to extortion.”</a></p> <p>Monsanto, one of three dicamba manufacturers, blamed the damage on farmer error in applying dicamba. Farmers said that the dicamba labeling instructions were impossible to follow. Monsanto forbid independent testing of dicamba, and the EPA did not require such testing. Instead in November, the Trump administration agreed with the manufacturers on <a href="">voluntary dicamba labeling guidelines</a>, allowing manufacturers to continue to market their product with no regulatory constraints</p> <p>Dicamba was to have provided an alternative to the weed management failure that resulted from pest and weed resistance to the glyphosate herbicide used predominantly on GE crops. EPA’s inspector general noted in a <a href="">June report</a> that during the Obama and Trump administrations “the agency has taken few steps to reduce herbicide resistance.”</p> <h2>Raising Risk from Food Imports</h2> <p>In June, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a temporary import ban on Brazilian beef following a Brazilian federal police report in March that meat company inspectors were bribed to falsify inspection documents and to disguise putrid beef with chemicals. <a href="">In June</a>, IATP noted that the president of the U.S. federal meat inspectors’ union said USDA had failed to re-inspect Brazilian meat exports per the terms of USDA’s determination that Brazilian meat hygiene standards were equivalent to those of USDA. Despite the federal meat inspectors’ alarm about the re-inspection failure, Secretary Perdue allowed Brazilian meat imports for three months before announcing the import ban.</p> <p>In December, <a href="">Food and Water Watch petitioned</a> USDA to revoke the equivalence determination that allowed Brazil to continue to export beef to the U.S., despite 15 years of Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) audits documenting Brazil’s failure to comply with the terms of the equivalence determination. Even with abundant evidence of Brazil’s compliance failure and a harsh <a href="">USDA inspector general’s report in 2015</a>, the Trump administration expanded a program, begun in the Clinton administration, to allow meat companies to control almost all inspection functions and reporting. That program to enable privatized poultry inspection was expanded to hog slaughtering facilities.</p> <p>In mid-December, at a meeting of the Safe Food Coalition with FSIS officials, IATP presented its <a href="">November report</a> on the Brazilian meat industry. IATP warned against ceding to pressure from trade officials, including FSIS supervisor, USDA Undersecretary for Trade Ted McKinnon, to resume allowing the import of Brazilian beef under the current privatized and vulnerable-to-bribery inspection regime.</p> <p>None of these and other agricultural regulatory problems inherited by the Trump administration would be easily solved with a more cooperative agribusiness industry. But the <a href="">21 percent cut</a> to the USDA budget proposed by the White House for Fiscal Year 2017, although reduced by the House of Representatives appropriations committee, adds to the pressure to cut the staff and infrastructure to mitigate risks to public and environmental health from agriculture practices and products.</p> <h2>Slow Response to Outbreaks</h2> <p>The <a href="">high incidence of foodborne illness</a> reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2016 should have advised the Trump administration to increase the resources to prevent foodborne illness. The contamination of horticulture products by pathogens most likely originating in runoff from livestock manure has continued under the Trump administration. Official response time to the contamination incidents has been slow and incomplete.</p> <p>For example, despite an outbreak of <em>E coli</em> traced back to romaine lettuce in November in Canada and the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration had not made an official declaration about the outbreak when <a href="">Representative Rosa DeLauro wrote</a> to the CDC on January 8 to complain of a “stunning lack of guidance” from the agencies. At that time, the outbreak had been linked to 22 hospitalizations and two deaths. Instead, <a href="">FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted</a> on January 9: “<a href="">FDA</a> will continue to update on the recent E. coli outbreak. Illness onsets among reported cases occurred in late Nov &amp; early Dec, so the source of these cases likely is no longer on the market. We're working closely with partners to identify that source.”</p> <p>The Trump administration’s <a href="">proposed 2018 budget</a> for the Food and Drug Administration would offset a 31 percent reduction in Congressional appropriations with industry regulatory service user fees, a Dead on Arrival proposal in Congress. If Congress approves the FDA budget cuts without increased industry regulatory fees, the <a href="">compliance deadlines</a> for the Food Safety Modernization Act likely will be <a href="">extended beyond the previous extensions</a> announced by the Trump administration in November.</p> <h2>Outlook for 2018</h2> <p>The USDA holds its annual <a href="">Outlook Forum</a>, subtitled “The Roots of Prosperity,” February 22-23. The last session features “Right-Sizing Regulation,” when those who would be prosperous may have left to catch their planes, confident in the knowledge that “right-sizing” is a euphemism for cutting regulations, regulatory staff and budgets. In the <a href="">USDA-calculated, current below cost of production price environment for agricultural commodities</a>, “right-sizing” offers a promise of consequence-free cost-cutting. Agricultural and food production and distribution systems are becoming longer (e.g<a href="">. the USDA approved in September program</a> to export U.S. poultry to China for processing and U.S. importing) and food and agricultural technologies are becoming more complex and expensive, e.g. IATP reported <a href="">nanotechnology enabled fertilizer</a>. The failures of “right-sizing” more complex agricultural trade patterns and technology either will add costs to an imperiled U.S. agricultural economy and/or offload those costs on to consumers and the natural resource base of agriculture and food.       </p> <h3>Read our full analysis:</h3> <p><a href="">Incoherence and Uncertainty: Trump's Trade Policy</a><br /><a href="">Agribusiness First: Trump's Farm Policy</a><br /><a href="">Incompetent and Unprepared: Trump's Government Agencies</a><br /><a href="">Raising Risk, Limiting Opportunity: Trump's Climate Denial</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Hurricane Trump</a></p> </div> </div> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:37:44 +0000 Colleen Borgendale 43489 at Eight Questions for Trump’s Department of Agriculture pick <span>Eight Questions for Trump’s Department of Agriculture pick</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/4721361607_03241f5e5d_b.jpg?itok=RpoWJFzj" width="950" height="590" alt="Eight Questions for Trump’s Department of Agriculture pick" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="">usembassy_montevideo</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Sun, 02/05/2017 - 21:44</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The next Secretary of Agriculture will have to hit the ground running, because the manure is hitting the fan. Farm income has <a href="" target="_blank">fallen for three straight years</a>. The farm <a href="" target="_blank">income to debt ratio</a> is the highest since 1985.</p></div> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 03:44:12 +0000 admin 43184 at Building alternatives for food systems and trade <span>Building alternatives for food systems and trade</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/ANEC_2016.jpg?itok=JEh5cGGW" width="950" height="590" alt="Building alternatives for food systems and trade" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/18/2016 - 17:04</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Public opposition to free trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that serve to increase inequality and concentrate corporate power has reached a loud crescendo. We got to this point through years of effort by thousands of civil society groups around the world, reaching out to educate people on the likely impacts of the very specific rules embedded in those documents, as well as defining alternatives for our economies, environments and food systems.</p></div> Thu, 18 Aug 2016 22:04:32 +0000 admin 43085 at Selling Off the Farm <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-industrial-livestock has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > Corporate Meat&#039;s Takeover Through TTIP</h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/sharon-anglin-treat" hreflang="en">Sharon Anglin Treat</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/shefali-sharma" hreflang="en">Shefali Sharma</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/mishka_website.jpg?itok=VGA08Aiv" width="950" height="590" alt="Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat&#039;s Takeover Through TTIP" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Satellite photo of the Tascosa Feedyard, a cattle feedlot in Texas.</p> <p>Photo by Mishka Henner/Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h2 class="heading-1">Executive Summary</h2> <p class="normal">Citizens in both the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) are demanding a healthier, more just and more sustainable food system. As parties negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), proposed trade rules threaten to undermine the good food and farm movements on both sides of the Atlantic. The negotiations are taking place at a formative time: consumer interest in locally grown, organic and minimally-processed food is expanding in both regions, along with public policy supporting these consumer choices. At the same time, globalisation and an increasingly concentrated and vertically integrated agricultural sector are pushing food production, in particular the meat sector, toward increasing overall production through industrialised systems located where labour is cheap and environmental and animal welfare standards are weak or non-existent.</p> <p class="normal">If agreed to, TTIP would be the largest and most comprehensive bilateral trade agreement ever signed, as well as a blueprint for future international agreements. Consequently, TTIP not only threatens current efforts in the EU and U.S. to build a healthier, more compassionate and more sustainable food system, but the trade deal could also expand factory farming worldwide by harmonising standards of two of the largest meat markets (U.S. and EU) and setting the terms for global standards in future trade deals. Eliminating all tariffs on agricultural products in the market-access chapter as proposed would favor ever cheaper production methods. Likewise, TTIP’s focus on reducing or eliminating regulatory differences and protections—“regulatory harmonisation”—would promote cheaper industrialised practices prevalent in the U.S. and increasingly prevalent in the EU. As a result, TTIP is likely to stand in the way of much-needed regulatory reform in the U.S. as well as proposals in the EU that seek to address climate change, animal welfare and the role of GMOs in the food system.</p> <h2 class="heading-2">Chapter 1: The current U.S. and EU meat industries</h2> <p class="normal">The U.S. is the largest producer of beef in the world at 11.4 million tonnes (over 12.5 million American tons), and large-scale industrial feedlots dominate the U.S. industry. Such facilities can hold more than 18,000 head of cattle at a time. In comparison, a feedlot with 200 head of cattle is considered “large” in the EU. The U.S. is also the largest exporter of pork, and both sectors have experienced a shift from family farms to large operations controlled by consolidated global corporations. Over the last two decades, 90 percent of the independent pig farms in the U.S. have been wiped out, leaving one company in control of over half of the pork production in the country and depressing prices paid to farmers. A similar story can be told about chicken production. In 2012, the average size of U.S. broiler chicken operations was 166,000 birds, a number that pales in comparison with the largest operations, such as in California, where the average broiler inventory per operation at any one time exceeded 1.7 million birds, making the U.S. the largest poultry meat producer and second largest exporter.</p> <p class="normal">The expansion of industrialised farming in the EU has been slower than in the U.S. About 40 percent of the land area in the EU’s 28 Member States (EU-28) is farmed, and family farms in the EU’s 28 Member States were responsible for rearing 71.1 percent of all livestock in 2010. Organic farms are a growing share of EU agricultural holdings, comprising a significant percentage in some countries such as Austria. The family farm model is nonetheless threatened as the EU’s meat sector becomes increasingly concentrated. Through mergers and acquisitions and expansions into additional countries, five producers now dominate in the major meat-producing countries.</p> <p class="normal">Although the EU beef industry has contracted since the early 2000s, Europe remains third in global production of beef at over eight million tonnes. EU beef production is considered at a competitive disadvantage compared to the U.S., with higher costs and more regulatory restrictions. Three countries—France, Germany and the U.K.—accounted for roughly half of the total EU beef production in 2013. Instead of the feedlot system, pasture finishing of beef is common in Ireland and to a lesser degree in the U.K. and France, while silage systems predominate in the rest of Europe.</p> <p class="normal">The EU is the second largest exporter of pork. With stagnating EU demand, the focus on export markets has driven overproduction, bigger farms and intense price pressures, ultimately lowering the prices pig farmers receive. While the sector is less consolidated than in the U.S., the industry has experienced similar structural change, including more vertical integration and increasing control by slaughtering firms. By 2012, 55 percent of the commercial value of pork in Germany was in the hands of the four biggest slaughtering companies operating in the EU—Danish Crown, Tonnies, Vion and Westfleisch. In fact, fully 42 percent of German pig producers went out of business between 2001 and 2009 during a period of rapid consolidation.</p> <p class="normal">The European broiler business is currently a domestic-focused industry. Here as well, vertical integration of production and slaughtering, pushed by mergers and acquisitions, is increasing. According to the 2010 Farm Structure Survey, 18.5 percent of all European farms raised broilers. “Professional farms”—barely one percent of the total number of broiler farms—are considered those with more than 5,000 birds. More than three-quarters of farms with more than 5,000 broilers were located in France, Spain, Poland, Italy, Germany and the U.K.</p> <h2 class="heading-2">Chapter 2</h2> <h3 class="heading-3">Climate</h3> <p class="normal">The U.S. lacks binding regulations to cap methane and nitrous oxide emissions resulting from feedlots or livestock production, and government estimates may understate the amount of methane in the country’s annual greenhouse gas inventory by as much as half. In the EU, agriculture has been deemed responsible for 40 percent of the EU’s methane emissions, and the recently revised National Emissions Ceilings Directive includes a cap of 30 percent on methane emissions. Nonetheless, the agriculture-related provisions of the Directive have come under attack by the European livestock industry. Lobbyists specifically identified the TTIP negotiations as a reason not to cap agriculture-related emissions. Thus, the prospect of increased competition resulting from TTIP is already providing incentives for deregulatory harmonization, and new trade-based rules will make it even more difficult to effectively address climate change.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Labour</h3> <p class="normal">In both the U.S. and EU, meat operations exploit some of the most vulnerable workers who often lack full legal protections accorded employees in other sectors of the economy and who work in unsafe and dehumanizing conditions. In the U.S., animal agricultural operations are exempted from many wage, hour and other labour standards applicable to other industries, and many operations are located in states with weak environmental standards that also discourage collective bargaining. In the EU, agribusiness operations take advantage of the Posting of Workers Directive that allows them to skirt wage standards and collective bargaining protections available to other workers. These companies have also greatly expanded their operations into newer Member States in Eastern Europe, taking advantage of weaker economies and fewer environmental and other protections. Increased competition through TTIP would exacerbate these terrible labour conditions and diminish possibilities for trade unions to push for needed reforms on both sides of the Atlantic.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Animal Welfare</h3> <p class="normal">Significant disparities between the EU’s modern-day animal welfare standards and those in the U.S. which are based on 19th century sensibilities and law, make this policy area ripe for agribusiness attacks through trade rules. The EU’s enhanced animal welfare standards are already being blamed for higher production costs, and efforts to continue to improve are meeting resistance because of competition. TTIP negotiations will be a large “elephant in the room” if and when the Commission decides to embark on a new strategy on animal welfare based on its recent survey of public opinion, which demonstrated that an overwhelming majority of EU citizens support even stronger animal welfare protections.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Environment</h3> <p class="normal">Both U.S. and EU governments have failed to recognise and adequately address the environmental damage and climate impacts caused by industrialised agriculture. A UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report found that livestock farming alone costs the environment $1.81 trillion per year, equivalent to 134 percent of its production value. Our review of environmental regulations on air, water and soil governing the meat sector shows an urgent need to address the gross environmental externalities of industrial animal production on both sides of the Atlantic.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Cloning</h3> <p class="normal">The European Parliament resolution on the TTIP negotiations identified animal cloning for farming purposes as a policy area where the EU and U.S. have very different rules and where changes to the EU ban should be “nonnegotiable.” Nonetheless, with cloning legal in the U.S., the TTIP negotiations appear to be adding pressure on the European Commission to accede to agribusiness interests and modify its policies. In 2013, following the initiation of TTIP negotiations, the Commission put forward two linked proposals that would ban farm animal cloning but allow the sale of meat and milk produced by descendants of cloned animals. To date, negotiations on the Commission proposals have been stalled, but this is an emerging policy area that could be at risk under TTIP’s regulatory cooperation provisions.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Public health and antibiotic resistance</h3> <p class="normal">Threats of increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics have been recognised since the 1970s, yet antibiotic use in food animal production continues to rise. At least two million Americans are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and a minimum of 23,000 die as a result. In the EU, infections from antimicrobial resistant bacteria kill 25,000 people annually. In response to this public health crisis, governments in 2015 agreed to launch the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance led by the World Health Organisation. The U.S. currently has only voluntary restrictions on antibiotics use in animal production, and its SPS proposals encourage mutual recognition of its policies. The EU’s proposed article in TTIP’s SPS chapter on anti-microbial resistance suggests creating a technical working group and harmonising data collection on the use of antibiotics. However, it is highly unlikely that U.S. negotiators would agree to this weak proposal, given the power of the U.S. meat industry, which spent considerable resources to undermine even non-binding federal dietary guidelines suggesting eating less processed and red meat.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Traceability and accountability</h3> <p class="normal">A key requirement of EU food safety policy is traceability, which aims at tracking food and ingredients for human consumption at all stages of production, processing and distribution. This approach is based on the precautionary principle and incorporates food hygiene throughout the production chain, providing the legal and policy basis for restrictions on the use of antibiotics, hormones and other chemical inputs in meat production, as well as strict GMO regulation. The U.S. lacks both the authority and the capacity to insure traceability, and the U.S. meat industry has stressed that to be acceptable to the industry, participation in this system must be voluntary. In short, traceability is bad for the U.S. industry’s bottom line.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Assessing risk-precaution versus cost-benefit</h3> <p class="normal">Both the EU and U.S. regulatory systems look to science to assess, manage and communicate risk, but there are key differences in how each government uses science in developing its regulations and how scientific uncertainty is dealt with. The EU uses the precautionary principle to prioritise public health and the environment, whereas the U.S. uses the cost-benefit approach that tends towards regulating the safety of the end product rather than focus on preventing contamination throughout food production, processing and distribution. The U.S. meat industry continues to challenge the precautionary principle and expects convergence with the U.S. approach through TTIP.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Genetically modified (GM) feed and zero tolerance</h3> <p class="normal">GM risk assessment, approval and labeling issues have been highly contentious on both sides of the Atlantic. Policies of EU Member States and U.S. states have been inconsistent with central government decisions, often taking a more cautious approach and supporting more comprehensive labeling. The biotech and feed industries have made it clear that they see TTIP as a prime opportunity to speed up GM approvals and to centralize decision-making at the EU and U.S. levels of government. Even before the formal initiation of TTIP negotiations, the European Commission started relaxing its biotech rules under industry pressure. Europe’s zero tolerance contamination policy was watered down in 2010 to allow for a low-level presence of GMOs in animal feed under certain conditions.</p> <p class="Side-text">In each issue area—be it climate and the environment, GMOs, antibiotics, animal welfare, food safety or social justice—citizens in both Europe and the United States are interested in seeing stronger, more effective regulations. And they are interested in reining in the excesses of transnational corporations. TTIP will take us in the opposite direction and set the global standard for other trade deals.</p> <h2 class="heading-2">Chapter 3: Corporate Meat’s takeover through TTIP</h2> <h3 class="heading-3">Liberalised tariffs</h3> <p class="normal">Industrialised practices prevalent in the U.S. produce meat more cheaply than in the EU. Farm gate prices for beef, pork and poultry for U.S. and EU farmers in the last ten years demonstrate that U.S. farmers are paid consistently lower prices for their animals. Such cost-cutting is only possible with the extreme corporate concentration of the meat industry that allows for exploitation of farmers and workers and shifts environmental and public health costs onto the taxpayer. The EU lacks the reliable livestock supplies, low-cost feed and economies of scale that define the U.S. meat industry. Studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), European Commission, European Parliament, NGOs and farming interests all find that TTIP, as currently proposed, will increase meat imports to the EU from the U.S. and could seriously disrupt the meat sector and other agricultural sectors of Europe’s economy. The EU meat industry will likely respond by further concentrating market power and in the process, price out many more independent and small producers.</p> <p class="normal">While EU officials insist that the most sensitive agricultural products will be exempt from “complete tariff liberalisation,” leaked documents demonstrate that negotiators’ actions do not match the rhetoric. Live beef cattle, animal and dairy products, and animal feed products are all slated for tariff liberalisation, even up to zero tariffs over time. The EU has also indicated that although some tariffs will not be eliminated, tariff rate quotas for hormone-free beef are likely to be expanded. These market access offers alone will result in a “race to the bottom” for EU production as European meat processors compete with the U.S. However, combined with TTIP’s deregulatory agenda, food and agriculture in the EU are likely to undergo their biggest industrial transformation yet.</p> <h3 class="heading-3">Threats from regulatory cooperation</h3> <p class="normal">TTIP’s goal to eliminate “non-tariff barriers” or “trade irritants” threatens sustainable farming regulations on the environment, public health and animal welfare. Where there are vast differences between regulatory regimes, those standards that are more protective (and usually, more costly to implement) are at significant risk. With TTIP envisioned as a “living agreement,” future rulemaking processes at the EU and Member State levels (and likewise at U.S. federal, state and local levels) will be affected. Proposals on regulatory cooperation that would lower food and farming standards run throughout TTIP both in a “horizontal” chapter on domestic regulatory practices intended to apply across the entire agreement, and embedded in specific chapters.</p> <p class="normal">These provisions would grant unparalleled influence to business as a key stakeholder, screening regulations to insure that only the “least trade restrictive” can go forward and shifting policy-making from open, democratic processes to informal, less accountable negotiations. Many civil society organizations have identified the real dangers presented by increased corporate influence on the development of public health and safety standards posed by both the U.S. and EU regulatory cooperation texts.</p> <p class="normal">Taken together, these measures implement a deregulatory agenda that will:</p> <ul><li class="Bulleted-list">Prioritise trade effects over the public interest</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Undermine the precautionary principle</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Weaken protective standards through mutual recognition and harmonisation of standards</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Streamline “modern agricultural technology” approvals relying on confidential industry studies</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Heighten the burden of proof on regulators to make and defend regulatory decisions</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Delay protective regulations through “paralysis by analysis”</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Create a regulatory chokepoint by “managing” regulations</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Chill the development of new standards addressing changing circumstances and new data</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Institutionalize and expand corporate influence throughout the standard-setting process</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Limit more protective standards at EU Member State and U.S. state levels of government</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Create new possibilities for trade-based corporate legal challenges and new pools of data to support those challenges</li> </ul><h3 class="heading-3">State to state and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)</h3> <p class="normal">Combined with these provisions in the agreement, public interest regulations may be at serious risk when considered more trade restrictive than “necessary” and when they impinge on a corporation’s expected profits. This has great significance for a number of rules that are being revised or created in the EU, such as the Posting of Workers Directive, cloning, Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL), climate legislation and future Animal Welfare rules, as well as policies adopted by U.S. state governments that go beyond federal standards, such as GMO and chemical labeling requirements. With transnational meat corporations such as JBS, Cargill and Smithfield present and expanding on both sides of the Atlantic, ISDS could newly empower these firms to challenge food and farming policies that hurt their bottom line—even if they are nominally headquartered in other countries such as Brazil or China.</p> <h3 class="Heading-2">Conclusion</h3> <p class="normal">TTIP threatens citizen-led movements toward a healthier, more just and more sustainable food system in the EU and the U.S. It will promote the expansion of industrial meat production at a time when civil society is demanding the opposite—meat produced humanely, locally, free of harmful substances and benefiting rather than degrading the environment. Both by eliminating tariffs and through its regulatory cooperation provisions, TTIP will encourage a race to the bottom to achieve the cheapest methods of production and processing at the expense of other public goods. While undermining EU food policies that are strongly supported by consumers, it will also provide the framework for corporate attacks on U.S. state-level policies that go beyond federal minimum standards, undermining progress made by the U.S. food justice, farmer and consumer movement to regulate the meat industry and ultimately transform the U.S. food system. Negotiators’ statements to the contrary, TTIP must be recognised for what it is: a multi-pronged strategy promoted by global agribusiness concerns on both sides of the Atlantic that will establish an ongoing mechanism for deregulation and meat industry consolidation. It is undemocratic; the policies it promotes are unsustainable; and it must be rejected by anyone who cares about good food and farming, human and animal rights and the future of our planet.</p> <p class="normal"><a href="" target="_blank">Continue reading the full report</a>.</p> <p class="normal"><strong>Individual parts of the report:</strong><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Read the Executive Summary.</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Download the report without the endnotes</a>.<br /><a href="" target="_blank">Download only the endnotes.</a></p> <p> </p> <hr /><p>Jointly published with <a href="" target="_blank">Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft e.V. (ABL)</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Compassion in World Farming</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">PowerShift</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="" type="application/pdf; length=4920448" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">SellingOffTheFarm_full_f_0 (1).compressed.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">4.69 MB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/industrialized-meat" hreflang="en">Industrial Livestock</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Teaser image</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/media/10344" hreflang="en">Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat&#039;s Takeover Through TTIP</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:34:24 +0000 admin 43075 at Tariff reductions could disrupt local farming systems <span>Tariff reductions could disrupt local farming systems</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/eggs_beantin.jpg?itok=Oh5E56c2" width="950" height="590" alt="Tariff reductions could disrupt local farming systems" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="">beantin</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/08/2016 - 13:11</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the European Union has been negotiated in secret – preventing the public from knowing what exactly is on the negotiating table. In May, TTIP text was leaked by Greenpeace Netherlands. The leaked text provides a snapshot of the status of the talks. Review of </i><a href="" target="_blank"><i>the leaked TTIP text</i></a><i>—U.S.</i></p></div> Wed, 08 Jun 2016 18:11:57 +0000 admin 43066 at Secret science would help streamline biotech and other food product approvals <span>Secret science would help streamline biotech and other food product approvals</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/WhiteButtonMushrooms_usdagov.jpg?itok=1aGbSgNi" width="950" height="590" alt="Secret science would help streamline biotech and other food product approvals" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="">USDAgov</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/06/2016 - 13:33</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><i>The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the European Union has been negotiated in secret – preventing the public from knowing what exactly is on the negotiating table. In May, TTIP text was leaked by Greenpeace Netherlands. The leaked text provides a snapshot of the status of the talks. Review of </i><a href="" target="_blank"><i>the leaked TTIP text</i></a><i>—U.S.</i></p></div> Mon, 06 Jun 2016 18:33:50 +0000 admin 43062 at Five key takeaways from the TTIP leak for food and farming systems <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/WhiteMushrooms_harrington_alison_forweb.jpg?itok=TmfyO-6O" width="950" height="590" alt="Five key takeaways from the TTIP leak for food and farming systems" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="">harrington_alison</a></div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p class="normal">The leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts published by Greenpeace Netherlands<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">1</span> on May 2 provide a crucial snapshot of the status of the trade talks. While a fair amount of information has either leaked or been published by the European Commission on its positions, this is the first detailed information on U.S. TTIP proposals.<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">2</span> The information is incomplete. Many key chapters, such as those on investment and on energy, remain undisclosed to the public. Annexes that specify exactly which sectors would be affected by a particular chapter are also absent.</p> <p class="normal">Still, these documents confirm many of the most serious concerns civil society organizations have been raising since the inception of the talks. Almost three years into the negotiations, very little is agreed upon in the consolidated text. Instead we see long sections of “bracketed” texts indicating significant differences between the U.S. and EU. However, looking at the U.S. and EU proposals along with an EU “Tactical State of Play” document, the leaked TTIP text provides important insights into the direction of the trade talks, and raises alarm bells for advocates of fair and sustainable food and farming systems, among them:</p> <p class="heading-2">Five takeaways</p> <ul><li class="Bulleted-list">Secret science would help streamline biotech approvals</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Local governments could be required to abandon buy local requirements</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Tariff reductions could disrupt local farming systems</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Proposals on regulatory cooperation would lower standards</li> <li class="Bulleted-list">Coordination on agriculture policy could undermine the interests of developing countries</li> </ul><p class="heading-3">Takeaway 1</p> <p class="heading-4">Secret science would be used to streamline “modern agricultural technology” approvals.</p> <p class="normal">Based on its proposals on food safety rules, known as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking to export a flawed regulatory system to the EU based on risk assessments that rely on inadequate, secret data. Risk assessments for imports of products not already approved in the importing Party (United States or EU) would be based on “available data.” In the U.S. experience, this means that regulatory approvals would not be determined on the basis of a weight of evidence in publicly available and peer-reviewed science, but on the basis of what risk managers and assessors—often in response to Confidential Business Information (CBI) claims<span class="Endnote-reference CharOverride-1">3</span>—judge to be “reasonably available and relevant” scientific data. Article X.5 of the leaked text declares that, “each Party shall ensure that it takes into account relevant available scientific evidence, including quantitative or qualitative data and information.” This is a near repetition of the standard of evidence that the USTR successfully included in the TPP SPS chapter. (TPP, Article 7.9.5) Leaving aside the question of what are qualitative data, the key loophole in this provision lies in what scientific evidence is “available” for a risk assessment.</p> <p class="normal">In the U.S. regulatory system, it is routine for commercial applicants to claim CBI status for evidence in an application to deregulate a product, and the CBI claim is seldom, if ever, denied. As a result, the data and information are what the commercial applicant wishes to submit, according to broad regulatory requirements, thus preventing a robust and independent risk assessment prior to commercial release. This approach would undermine the EU’s reliance on the Precautionary Principle, under which commercialization applications can be rejected when the science is not yet settled or when data is insufficient to enable a risk assessment.<span class="CharOverride-2"> </span></p> <p class="normal">For example, on April 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) informed the developer of a genetically engineered mushroom, developed with the CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing technology, that based on information provided by the company, it would not regulate the GE mushroom.<span class="endnote-reference CharOverride-3">4</span> The USDA, rather than performing a risk assessment to determine unintended effects resulting from the CRISPR Cas-9 techniques, simply trusts the information presented by the product developer as the basis for deregulating the gene-edited mushroom. This deregulatory rationale is similar to that of the proposals from the transatlantic biotech industry group New Breeding Techniques Platform (NBT Platform) to exempt new agricultural technologies from regulation under EU law.<span class="endnote-reference CharOverride-3">5</span> Under the USDA and NBT Platform logic, if the genetic modification of a plant or animal does not result from the insertion of foreign genetic material, it is unnecessary to regulate it.</p> <p class="normal">In addition, the U.S. proposals would require EU authorities to explain not just their risk management decisions but also to discuss alternatives, presented in industry comments, to SPS regulations that are not part of each risk assessment. In essence, every step of regulation is subject to revision or reversal as a result of industry comments. At the same time as the U.S. demands complete risk assessment “transparency,” industry will be able to pick and choose which studies and data it presents for deregulation of its products. In sum, the “Science and Risk” approach, incorporated into the leaked provisions, increases the already steep burden of proof on governments to justify SPS rules while placing no burden on industry to demonstrate that its products, including novel foods and agricultural products, are safe.</p> <p class="normal">The U.S. proposals include a new provision on “Regulatory Approvals for Products of Modern Agricultural Technology.” Article X.12 establishes an approval process for the sale or use of those products. Products of “modern agricultural technology,” including food and agri-nanotechnology, are not currently regulated and therefore are not approved by government agencies. Instead they are <span class="CharOverride-4">deregulated</span> following voluntary and confidential consultations with industry lobbyists. For example, the Center for Food Safety and five other NGOs sued the Environmental Protection Agency for failure to regulate engineered nanoscale silver in pesticide products.<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">6</span></p> <p class="heading-3">Takeaway 2</p> <p class="heading-4">Local governments could be required to abandon local-content requirements on many projects, even if they do not sign on to TTIP.</p> <p class="normal">One of the EU’s key offensive interests in the trade talks has been to open U.S. public procurement programs at all levels of government to bids by EU firms, removing policies that support local employment, local content or portions of contracts set aside for small businesses. As indicated in the Tactical State of Play document, so far, the U.S. has been cool to proposals to commit local governments on procurement. Exactly which state or local governments or institutions would agree to those commitments would be indicated in an annex to the Procurement chapter text. That annex was not leaked, and probably doesn’t yet exist.</p> <p class="normal">In addition to bracketed language in Article X.4.3 that would “immediately and unconditionally” cover both national and local government goods, services and suppliers, the EU is advancing a bold new “flow down” proposal, which would broadly cover local entities. In paragraph 4 of Article X.2 on Scope and Coverage, projects that are more than 50 percent funded or covered by national or local governments that have signed on to TTIP, but are not otherwise directly covered in the text, would be required to follow the rules those agencies have agreed to. This provision appears to be a catch-all that would sweep within its ambit not only state and local government projects but also nonprofit enterprises, utility districts, universities, hospitals and potentially state Medicaid contracts (“project” is not defined in the text, but services are covered). For example, since Medicaid provides medical transportation services to clients, these contracts would be covered by the procurement disciplines if funded more than 50 percent by a covered federal agency.</p> <p class="normal">We do not know the U.S. position on this EU proposal. If the TPP is the model for the U.S. position in the TTIP negotiations, that agreement excludes state and local procurement from the disciplines of the procurement chapter (with the proviso that negotiations to include sub-central procurement must commence within three years) and did not include provisions that would indirectly bind federally-funded projects. TPP Annex 15-A in Section A, Note 1 exempts USDA funded “procurement of any agricultural good made in furtherance of an agriculture support program or a human feeding program,” which protects many Farm to School local procurement programs.</p> <p class="normal">The leaked TTIP text goes further than the TPP in restricting local development preferences, known as “offsets.” It appears that EU and U.S. negotiators have agreed to a definition of “offset” in Article X.1(o) which is more expansive than that in the TPP. The TTIP text defines offsets as “any condition or undertaking that <span class="CharOverride-4">encourages</span> local development or improves a Party’s balance-of-payments accounts, such as the use of domestic content, the licensing of technology, investment, countertrade and similar action or requirement.” In contrast, the TPP definition limits the application of this prohibition to a “condition or undertaking that <span class="CharOverride-4">requires</span> the use of domestic content” [emphasis added].</p> <p class="normal">EU negotiators have previously made known their interest in negating in TTIP longstanding U.S. procurement policy that provide for set-asides or preferences for small businesses,<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">7</span> The U.S. maintained those preferences in the TPP with language that exempts “any set-aside on behalf of a small- or minority-owned business” including “any form of preference, such as the exclusive right to provide a good or service, or any price preference” from the procurement rules. The TTIP leak did not include any similar protections. However, annexes and schedules of commitments and exclusions, while referenced, were not leaked.</p> <p class="heading-3">Takeaway 3</p> <p class="heading-4">Tariffs on several key agricultural products would be eliminated, potentially disrupting local farming systems on both sides of the Atlantic.</p> <p class="normal">While average tariffs on goods traded between the U.S. and EU are quite low, those figures obscure substantial differences on key products, some of which currently protect vulnerable farming sectors that are already suffering from low prices and unstable markets. In a memo describing tariff reduction offers dated November 20, 2015, the EU notes the intention under TTIP to eliminate tariffs on 97 percent of goods. While exactly how this will play out will only become clear during the final “endgame” of the negotiations, the memo describes substantial, and in many cases, abrupt changes in tariffs on farm goods. As of November, the EU was offering to lower more tariffs than the U.S., but in the latest round of negotiations in April, the U.S. reaffirmed its goal for total tariff elimination. The EU still opposes this position in the interest of its most sensitive agriculture products.</p> <p class="normal">Contrary to what EU negotiators have been saying about such protection, however, the leaks demonstrate that the EU is already willing to reduce—and over three to seven years eliminate—duties on 175 agricultural tariff lines (categories of agriculture products) that include live cattle, goat meat, milk and cream, nuts, fruit jam and fruit juice, animal feeding and glues (although many of the products the U.S. has placed on the seven-year elimination also face non-tariff barriers in the EU). In addition, the EU and U.S. have designated two percent of all their tariff lines in a special “T” category. These tariffs will be eliminated, but over an as-yet undetermined phase out period that could extend beyond seven years. These products for the EU include poultry, ham and swine preparations, barley/maize, wheat and wheat flour, and fertilized eggs (other than chicken eggs). The U.S. has similarly placed certain swine and lamb products, 17 kinds of dairy and cheeses, chocolate and olives in the “T” category.</p> <p class="normal">In a “game of chicken,” the U.S. continues to reserve some tariffs on bovine meat products and 144 kinds of dairy and cheese products (as well as several industrial products such as cars) for less than full tariff elimination in order to push the EU to liberalize more agricultural goods. The EU is protecting 281 agriculture tariff lines that include products made from bovine, swine, poultry, dairy, fertilized chicken eggs, vegetables and fruit, rice, maize flour, starch and sugar). The EU has also indicated that although some tariffs will not be eliminated, tariff rate quotas (set quantities allowed in at reduced tariff rates) for beef raised without the hormones that are banned in the EU are likely to be set.<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">8</span> This will mean much more pressure on the EU’s beef sector.</p> <p class="normal">In many of these cases, the real issue is not just the tariffs. For instance, the EU was expecting the U.S. to abide by certain animal welfare provisions for egg-laying hens on a few tariff lines (for birds other than chicken) and also expecting an “economically meaningful” procurement offer by the February 2016 round before it makes further offers, according to the State of Play memo. The EU prohibition on beef produced with hormones, chlorine-rinsed chicken or sale of cloned animals for meat (to name a few of many examples) are considered non-tariff barriers in TTIP. These measures enhance public health and animal welfare while strengthening local production in Europe from floods of cheap imports produced with lower standards. These are going to be the crux of heated negotiations during the so-called “endgame” of the talks.</p> <p class="normal">Changes in public support and volatile and plummeting global prices for dairy products have left dairy farmers on both sides of the Atlantic reeling. Meanwhile, the EU and U.S. negotiators are busy horse trading the lives of small dairy and meat producers and processors over the amount of car parts and other goods each side is willing to liberalize.</p> <p class="heading-3">Takeaway 4</p> <p class="heading-4">Proposals on regulatory cooperation that would lower standards run throughout the agreement.</p> <p class="normal">Many civil society organizations have indicated the real dangers of increased corporate influence on the development of public health and safety standards posed by the texts on Regulatory Cooperation made by both the U.S. and EU.<span class="endnote-reference CharOverride-3">9</span> The U.S. proposals for cost-benefit analysis of new rules, in addition to putting new burdens on regulatory agencies, would create new possibilities for challenges and new pools of data that could be used as evidence in investor-state cases (which, under the agreement, would allow corporations to sue governments for compensation over rules and regulations). The Regulatory Cooperation chapter is a “horizontal” chapter with application throughout the agreement, but many components of these proposals are also embedded in specific chapters of TTIP.</p> <p class="normal">The second paragraph of the U.S.-proposed “Science and Risk” article in the SPS chapter, for example, would forbid regulators from adopting a food or plant safety regulation until and unless they have evaluated “any alternatives to achieve the appropriate level of protection being considered by the Party or identified through timely submitted public comments, including where raised, the alternative of not adopting any regulation.” This paragraph would enshrine the U.S. practice of allowing an exhaustive process of “timely submitted public comments” by industry to slow down or even stop new regulations, including regulations to protect public and environmental health.</p> <p class="normal">In essence, the U.S. proposes to export the “guilty until proven innocent” burden, imposed on U.S. agencies seeking to enact new rules, to the European Commission and EU member states. European NGOs have rightly recognized that this SPS chapter proposal and other examples of regulatory cooperation in TTIP would essentially result in the corporate takeover of the EU regulatory process.<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">10</span></p> <p class="normal">We should not read too much into the fact that the leaked provisions of the EU and U.S. horizontal regulatory chapter are mostly bracketed and thus not agreed to. The Tactical State of Play memo notes “good progress” in the regulatory cooperation negotiations and that the EU and U.S. texts are “complementary in many respects.” Regulatory cooperation proposals publicly released by the EU on March 21, 2016, which are more current than those reflected in the leaked documents, confirm that the EU and U.S. proposals are becoming more similar in approach.<span class="endnote-reference _idGenCharOverride-1">11</span></p> <p class="heading-3">Takeaway 5</p> <p class="heading-4">Coordination on agriculture policy could undermine developing country positions in global trade talks.</p> <p class="normal">The EU has proposed an Agriculture chapter in TTIP, something not included in previous bilateral or plurilateral agreements the U.S. has negotiated. It proposes disciplines on agricultural-export credits along the lines agreed to at the Nairobi WTO meeting in December 2015, as well as other changes to subsidies and food aid programs. While progress on those issues could be helpful, TTIP could also be used to ensure that the U.S. and EU present a united front on other issues that have been controversial in global trade talks and overwhelm developing country concerns.</p> <p class="normal">The EU State of Play memo from March notes that, “As regards export competition, the U.S. is opposed to the inclusion of any discipline in TTIP that would go beyond the Nairobi outcome. It pointed to a non-binding language in TPP that resisted calls from [other TPP] members to undertake specific commitments. The U.S. proposed adding to the TTIP the language on export restrictions agreed in TPP and committed to propose an alternative language on cooperation in agriculture.”</p> <p class="normal">The TPP went beyond establishing disciplines on export restrictions to also limit developing countries’ ability to shield sensitive agricultural markets from imports. Article 2.26 of TPP on Agricultural Safeguards eliminates the Parties’ rights under the WTO to apply special tariffs in the event of import surges. This issue, as well as establishing developing countries’ rights to exempt key agricultural goods from trade liberalization in order to ensure food security and rural development, has been a key point of contention in the WTO talks. The inclusion of these issues in TTIP would likely mean that two of the world’s largest economies would work together in future multilateral trade talks in ways that override the interests of smaller economies.</p> <p class="heading-3">Conclusions</p> <p class="normal">Many of the issues included in the TTIP drafts go far beyond anything negotiated in previous trade deals. They could affect a broad range of national and local efforts to rebuild food systems on both sides of the Atlantic and entrench corporate interests in decision-making processes on chemical, health, consumer safety and environmental standards. And yet the exact nature of these proposals remain shrouded in secrecy. Full public debates on the content of TTIP should be based on current information and transparent processes at every step along the way, rather than periodic leaks of incomplete bits of text. Only then would it be possible to envision an agreement that serves to advance progress on fair and sustainable economies and food systems.</p> <p class="heading-3">Endnotes</p> <p class="endnote">1. The complete set of leaked TTIP documents are available at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p class="endnote">2. However, many of the provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) provide important clues to U.S. positions. See <a href="">Following Breadcrumbs: TPP Text Provides Clues to U.S. Positions in TTIP</a>.</p> <p class="endnote">3. Kaare M Nielsen, “Biosafety Data as Confidential Business Information,” PLOS Biology 11(3) (March 2013), 1. <a href=""></a>.</p> <p class="endnote">4. Letter from Dr. Michael Firko, U.S. Department of Agriculture to Dr. Yinyong Yang, Pennsylvania State University, April 13, 2016. <a href=""></a>.</p> <p class="endnote">5. “The regulatory status of plants resulting from New Breeding Technologies,” NBT Platform, July 11, 2013. <a href=""></a></p> <p class="endnote">6. E.g. Center for Food Safety et al v. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency, December 16, 2014. <a href=""></a> (IATP is a co-plaintiff.)</p> <p class="endnote">7. “Note for the Attention of the Trade Policy Committee: Subject: TTIP – Messages on public procurement,” European Commission, March 29, 2016. <a href=""></a></p> <p class="endnote">8. “U.S., EU To Increase Tariffs Subject To Immediate Elimination, But Clash On Eliminating All,” Inside U.S. Trade, April 29, 2016.</p> <p class="endnote">9. “Paralysis by Analysis: Background,” Public Citizen, 2016. <a href=""></a></p> <p class="endnote">10. “Public Health Concerns on Regulatory cooperation in TTIP,” European Public Health Association, European Heart Network and European Association for the Study of the Liver, March 21, 2016. <a href=""></a></p> <p class="endnote">11. Documents released by the Commission on March 21, 2016 are posted under “Regulatory Cooperation. <a href=""></a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="" type="application/pdf; length=1841626" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">2016_05_25_TTIP_LeakAnalysis.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">1.76 MB</span></span></div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 25 May 2016 18:37:48 +0000 admin 43059 at USITC ignores TPP food safety costs, overstates benefits for farmers <div class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Minneapolis – The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has published its <a href="">assessment</a> of the potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the U.S. economy and on the “interests of U.S. consumers,” as required by the Trade Priorities Act. Judging by the agricultural trade deficits of past Free Trade Agreements, the USITC projections of the agreement’s impact on U.S. agriculture exports and imports are likely optimistic. Despite the best efforts of the USITC, it is questionable whether the report analyzes adequately the costs of trade that affect the interests of U.S. consumers.</p> <p>Steve Suppan, Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) contributed <a href="">written comments</a> and was interviewed by the USITC in preparation for the report. He had urged the Commission “to use current methodologies for evaluating the agri-environmental, social and labor cost impacts of trade liberalization in the TPP. We urge the Commission not to externalize TPP agriculture input and food trade-related costs, particularly in sectors such as dairy, where imports are redundant to the huge surplus in U.S. and global dairy production.”</p> <p>Commenting on the new <a href="">report</a>, he said, “Even when U.S. agricultural exports do increase, that does not translate to prosperity to farmers and ranchers. Instead, they depend on Farm Bill subsidies to survive.”</p> <p>“The projections also downplay the broader consumer impacts of increasing food imports,” Suppan added. “The combination of rising imports and appallingly low FDA food inspection rates could result in increased foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control identified imported foods as the source of 18 of 120 foodborne illness outbreaks in 2015, but also estimated that only three percent of U.S. food-borne illness was reported to authorities, usually that which required hospitalization.”</p> <p>“Given the very low percentage of foodborne illness that is reported, and the estimated $93.2 billion annual cost of U.S. foodborne-illness health-related costs, weakening food inspection and testing intensity to expedite imports under the TPP is not in the interest of U.S. consumers. Furthermore, importers of contaminated food face lawsuits, loss of business and reputational risk.”</p> <p>“TPP will compound the problem of low inspection rates by adding new mechanisms to allow companies to challenge inspectors’ decisions – and to insist that they do so quickly. New food safety rules that Congress or state governments might propose could be challenged as trade barriers or subject to investor-state dispute settlement.”</p> <p>Because the TPP is at least as much about subordinating consumer protections to expediting trade, the USITC must analyze in greater detail the capacity of U.S. federal agencies to ensure that trade takes place safely.</p> <p><a href="">Find more analysis on how the TPP will affect our food and farming system</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="" type="application/pdf; length=88713" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">2016_05_18_USITC_Report_PR.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">86.63 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 19 May 2016 15:37:45 +0000 admin 43058 at