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Stop The TPP: Monsanto's Secret Trade Deal!

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on December 2, 2013 - 2:06pm

Tell Congress and Obama to stop Monsanto's secret deals to kill GMO labeling

Help Stop Secret Trade Deal,  the TPP: the global Monsanto Protection Act on Steroids!

Earlier this year, Monsanto lobbyists successfully snuck the Monsanto Protection Act into a must pass spending bill in Congress, but because of you, Congress was forced to repeal it. This pissed off Monsanto big time! And right now, Monsanto’s lobbyists are working harder to pass a secret trade agreement that will be a Global Monsanto Protection Act that will allow them to undermine nation’s laws in favor of GMO labeling and bans on their toxic products. The TPP is so bad that it would even allow Monsanto to sue a country if they felt it’s nation’s laws harmed Monsanto’s profits.

This is as serious as it gets. Send President Obama and Congress a message – tell them it’s time to stop working behind closed doors. Don’t let our democratic rights be stolen by secret trade agreements. Every voice counts!

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/stop_tpp_monsanto_protection_act_on_steroids/

Two weeks ago, representatives pushing for a secret trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met behind closed doors in Salt Lake City, Utah to hammer out the final details of an agreement that will mean the end of democracy as we know it.

For the past 3 years, more than 600 unelected corporate lobbyists and “trade advisors” have held more than a dozen meetings to craft a secret trade agreement that ignores and overwrites laws written by federal, state and local elected officials in favor of new unilateral “agreements” crafted by the likes of Walmart, DuPont, Halliburton and Monsanto.

Fortunately for us, on November 13th Wikileaks went public with a secret draft chapter on “intellectual property”, confirming the worst fears about this secret trade agreement.

The recent leaks prove that the Obama administration is pushing hard for Fast Track approval of the TPP without proper oversight by Congress while trying to keep the American public in the dark. The powers the TPP would grant corporations would allow them to undermine food safety laws, trample workers’ rights and environmental protections, limit access to vital medicine, restrict access to an open Internet and limit a country’s abilities to pass laws to protect themselves against Monsanto’s predatory practices and toxic chemicals and GMOs.

Send President Obama and Congress a message – tell them it’s time to stop working behind closed doors. Don’t let our democratic rights be stolen by secret trade agreements. Every voice counts!

According to the Washington Post, George Washington University professor and trade expert Susan Sell:

“the U.S. administration is negotiating for intellectual property provisions that it knows it could not achieve through an open democratic process….The United States appears to be using the non-transparent Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations as a deliberate end run around Congress on intellectual property, to achieve a presumably unpopular set of policy goals.”

These trade deals are so secretive that even Congress has been shut out of the process, despite the fact that under the Constitution, Congress writes the laws and sets trade policy. Even now the majority of Congress has never see the draft text of the trade agreement, even after repeated requests for the language.

Unfortunately, due to a little-known provision called “investor-state dispute settlement,” “corporations could rise to the level of nations and be empowered to sue governments directly over environmental protections that they claim might hurt their profits.”

This makes the TPP essentially a Get Out of Jail Free card for Monsanto and other corporate polluters and we need your help to stop it from overriding America’s laws.

Independent analysis of the TPP has confirmed that this secret trade agreement would be like the Monsanto Protection Act on steroids, but for multiple industries, basically giving free reign for corporations to overwrite democratically written laws in independent nation's and allowing giant corporations to sue country’s if they believe a law passed by their elected officials potentially harms or limits corporate profits on highly dubious products like GMOs and pesticides and harmful practices like fracking.

Make no doubt about it; this is the greatest assault on democratic freedom that we have witnessed by out of control corporate lobbyists and their front groups.

Already ExxonMobil and Chevron have used similar rules in other trade deals to initiate more than 500 lawsuits against 95 governments.

Monsanto and the U.S.’s Real Plan Behind TPP and Secret Trade Negotiations

Even worse, a biotech and pesticide industry lobbyist that once represented Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and the biotech giants is working as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. government!

That’s right, Islam Siddiqui, former lobbyist for CropLife, a biotech and pesticide front group, who was appointed by President Obama as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in 2010, now bargains on behalf of agribusiness and the biotech industry.

If you think GMO labeling in the U.S. or Europe is going to survive under Islam Siddiqui’s leadership, consider the fact that in 2003 he likened Europe’s policy of invoking the precautionary principle on new GMO crops to “denying food to starving people”.

He also claimed “mandatory labeling [of GMOs] could mislead consumers about the safety of these products.” Another Monsanto talking point!

Tell Congress and President Obama that it's outrageous to negotiate secret trade agreements behind closed doors. Stop the TPP - the global Monsanto Protection Act on steroids! Every voice counts!

After you sign this petition, feel free to join a Global Day of Action organized by Flush the TPP. http://www.flushthetpp.org/

The World Trade Organization begins its next meeting tomorrow, December 3 and more than 90 organizations and social movements in Indonesia have called for a global day of action that day. http://www.flushthetpp.org/call-to-action-december-3-international-day-of-action-against-toxic-trade-agreements/

Many have already stepped up to plan events in your communities. You can find them on the Flush the TPP Action Map here.

Here are some of the current events listed:

Baltimore, MD - TPP Global Day of Action Baltimore Style! Penn Station at 5 pm, see for details: http://www.flushthetpp.org/tpp-global-day-of-action-baltimore-style/

Washington, DC - Rally and Petition Delivery at the Office of the US Trade Representative at noon, See details here: http://www.flushthetpp.org/globaldayofactiondc/

New York, NY - See details here: http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-day-of-action-nyc/

St. Louis, MO - Rep. Ann Wagner's Office, 301 Sovereign Court, Suite 201, Ballwin, MO 63011 at 11 am. See http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-day-of-action-st-louis/

Chicago, IL - Details to come, see here: http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-day-of-action-chicago/

Honolulu, HI - TPP Awareness Campaign, Federal Building at 6 pm. See http://www.flushthetpp.org/tpp-awareness-campaign/

Olympia, WA - Tivoli Fountain at Washington State Capital Grounds at noon. See http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-day-of-action-olympia/

Portland, OR - At Reed College, more details to come. See http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-action-reed/

Orange, CA - At 5 pm, The Orange Circle, Glassell Street and Chapman Ave, Event website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1437322823153577 and see http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-day-of-action-orange-ca/

Sacramento, CA - At the state capital building, raise your voices against the TPP, at 11 am. See http://www.flushthetpp.org/global-day-of-action-sacramento/

Thanks again for participating in food democracy! By standing together we can make the difference to take our democracy and our planet back from corporate control!

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team

Sources:

1. “Beware of secrecy surrounding TPP talks”, The Salt Lake Tribune, November 26, 2013

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/57180512-82/tpp-trade-pact-americans.html.csp

2. “Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)”, Wikileaks, November 13, 2013

https://wikileaks.org/tpp/

3. “Five Key Questions – and Answers – About the Leaked TPP Text”, Washington Post, November 15, 2013,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/11/15/five-key-questions-and-answers-about-the-leaked-tpp-text/

4. “How a Trade Pact Could Harm the Environment”, The New York Times, Letter to the Editor, Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club, Nov. 14, 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/opinion/how-a-trade-pact-could-harm-the-environment.html

5. Flush the TPP Global Day of Action, http://www.flushthetpp.org/

6.  “Will European Requirements for Labeling GMO Foods Survive New Trade Negotiations?”, Huffington Post, July 3, 2013.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-lipsky/will-european-requirement_b_3535795.html

7. “At Trade Talks, U.S., E.U. Ready for Fight on Genetically Modified Crops”, The Washington Post, May 17, 2013.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-17/world/39337341_1_crops-trade-pact-american-farming

8. “Stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Global Revolt Against Corporate Domination”, Truth Out, July 10, 2013

www.truth-out.org/news/item/17472-stopping-the-tpp-a-victory-in-the-global-revolt-against-corporate-domination

9. “Obama’s Covert Trade Deal”, The New York Times, June 2, 2013

www.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/opinion/obamas-covert-trade-deal.html

10. "Flush the TPP: Stop the Global Corporate Coup!", www.flushthetpp.org/

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