There is a knock on effect to being concerned with intensive farming practices, it leads to an increased understanding of the insidious relationships forged between governments and Big Business. TTIP stands for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. It sounds like a straight forward initiative to promote mutual business benefits between the US and Europe, but scratch the label and there’s more than just food and environmental matters to be super concerned about.
TTIP negotiations include the greater commercialisation by US companies of UK health services and water provision, and the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS). These allow companies to sue governments if policy or regulatory decisions lead to a loss of profits. This leads me back to food. TTIP’s thrust on regulatory “convergence” wants to bring EU food safety standards in line with the US, which is far less strict in terms of the use of GM ingredients, of pesticides and hormones in farming, and of potentially toxic substances (chlorine bleached chicken, anyone?). As mad as it may seem, these substances and practices can be used until proven unsafe, rather than used only once proven safe.
There is no public consultation or referendum on TTIP, but there is a general election in May. The only party who has challenged it on all counts is the Greens.
Read the Huff Post on TTIP here
Image via the independent.co.uk