Food en Legalizing nanomaterials in EU food and feed products <span>Legalizing nanomaterials in EU food and feed products</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/2018-03/3437509366_885331b18e_b.jpg?itok=W0-_rrpK" width="950" height="590" alt="Mars Candy Company agreed to remove nano-titanium dioxide from its products" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>  Mars has committed to phasing out its use of nano-titanium dioxide in M&amp;Ms. </em></p></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="">neilconway</a></div> </article> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/2863" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris Palmquist</span></span> <span>Tue, 03/20/2018 - 08:45</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item">An update to EFSA's 2011 Guidance synthesizes a broad array of scientific literature, but problematically suggests nanomaterials won't be subject to stringent enough mandatory rules.</div> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:45:53 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43617 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"><article class="media media-audio view-mode-feature"> </article> </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 data-history-node-id="43489" 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"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <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=AH474GOB" width="950" height="590" alt="Biosecurity" 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> </article> </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"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <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=9Ze_S-Sl" width="950" height="590" alt="Eight Questions for Trump’s Department of Agriculture pick" 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> </article> </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 The U and the Flu: The bad science behind industrial poultry <span>The U and the Flu: The bad science behind industrial poultry</span> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Wed, 01/25/2017 - 11:51</span> Wed, 25 Jan 2017 17:51:20 +0000 admin 43176 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"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <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=7KcaqVFX" width="950" height="590" alt="Building alternatives for food systems and trade" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </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 data-history-node-id="43075" 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-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <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=irZqHCCC" width="950" height="590" alt="Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat&#039;s Takeover Through TTIP" 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> </article> </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> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:34:24 +0000 admin 43075 at Monsanto wins on Senate GMO labeling “compromise” <span>Monsanto wins on Senate GMO labeling “compromise”</span> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/gmoLabel.jpg?itok=9nGvwSkO" width="950" height="590" alt="Monsanto wins on Senate GMO labeling “compromise”" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/28/2016 - 13:20</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On July 1, Vermont’s law requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods will go into effect. That simple requirement to inform consumers about what they are eating sent a shiver through a Congress <a href="">hooked on millions of dollars</a> in biotech and food industry money.</p></div> Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:20:21 +0000 admin 43070 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"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <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=cWA8S8rj" width="950" height="590" alt="Tariff reductions could disrupt local farming systems" 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> </article> </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 Food Systems in China and the U.S.: What Can We Learn From Each Other? <span>Food Systems in China and the U.S.: What Can We Learn From Each Other?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/about/staff/account/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/06/2016 - 17:18</span> Mon, 06 Jun 2016 22:18:28 +0000 admin 43063 at