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Tell Congress to Say NO to Monsanto and the TPP!

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on May 12, 2015 - 2:37pm


 

Tell Congress it's time to END the Secret trade deals - Vote NO on TPP!

Don't let Congress corrupt our democracy and our food supply! - Take Action Today!

URGENT Senate Votes on Fast Track TODAY - Tell Congress it's time to Stop the TPP Fast Track! - Every voice counts!

Dear FDN! Supporters,

This is not a drill. This is as serious as it gets.

Today, the bipartisan selling out of America has begun. If the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Fast Track passes, it will make GMO labeling illegal and outlaw the passage of bans on Monsanto’s cancer-causing weedkiller Roundup.

This afternoon, your Senators will vote on approving or rejecting the Fast Track of the most disastrous trade deal ever written. According to the New York Times, if approved, this current agreement gives Congress “the power to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership once it is completed, but lawmakers could not amend it”.

Already last month, the Senate Finance Committee passed the first step to Fast Track when it passed the Trade Provision Authority (TPA) by a wide bipartisan 20 to 6 votes and the House Ways and Means Committee voted 25 to 13 days later. Voting the trade agreement out of these important committees means the only thing left is a floor vote of the House and Senate, which begins voting on fast track approval this afternoon.

Not surprisingly, members of the Senate Finance Committee received more than $236 million in corporate donations in 2014 alone. That sounds like a nice down payment on a new trade agreement! What do you think those corporations were trying to buy?

This is urgent!

1. Sign the petition to send President Obama and Congress an urgent 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!

2. Then, (more important) Please {{ user.first_name|default:"Friend" }} take 30 seconds to call your Senators and member of Congress today and Tell them to Vote NO on Monsanto's Secret Trade Deal, which will make GMO labeling illegal.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/call/stop_Fast_Track_Monsantos_Secret_Trade_Deal/

If the fast track is approved, it gives the President alone the full authority to negotiate the trade agreement, which most members of Congress have still not even been allowed to read. The trade agreement is so secret that no drafts have been published anywhere, and even Senators and their staffers who read the bill are not allowed to take notes on the trade agreement out of the room. Why the secrecy?

The real point of these “free trade” agreements is to allow for a free flow of commodities, intellectual property, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and GMOs around the world, not protect the American people.

The Monsanto Clause - Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Provision – Monsanto’s Get out of Jail Free Card

Most Americans are rightfully suspicious of the current trade deals because past promises of job creation have created the opposite, helping hollow out the American middle class and these trade agreements contain language that erode basic representative democracy.

Unfortunately, due to a little-known provision called “investor-state dispute settlement,”  (ISDS) “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 Fast Track for the TPP and TTIP 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.

That’s right, if a city, state or country passed an environmental, labor or consumer safety protection law, like a ban on fracking or restrictions on chemical or pesticide use, all a multinational corporation has to do is sue under the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision to regain lost profits.

Independent analysis of the TPP has confirmed that this secret trade agreement would be like a global Monsanto Protection Act on steroids, but for multiple industries, basically giving carte blanche for corporations to overwrite democratically written laws in independent nations and allowing giant corporations to sue nations 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.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress “Not so fast!! Vote NO on the TPP FAST TRACK!

Fast Track is the Intentional Bipartisan Gutting of GMO Labeling in the U.S. and Around the Globe

At the moment, none of the trade agreement documents have been released to the public, but what we know about past trade deals and the Investor State Dispute Settlement provision look tame compared to the language that is actually contained in TPA which passed the Senate Finance Committee last month.

It’s being called the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.” But what it really is, is the global Monsanto Protection Act on steroids. What the current agreement really means is that the world MUST adopt Monsanto’s Rules on “Science” – i.e. GMOs and their Cancer Causing Roundup are Safe!

If you think we’re kidding, consider the language pulled from the trade agreement below. Page 6 of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 for the agricultural section states:

(i) “encourage the adoption of international standards and require a science-based justification be provided for a…measure if the measure is more restrictive than the applicable international standard.”

(ii) improve regulatory coherence, promote the use of systems-based approaches , and appropriately recognize the equivalence of health and safety protection systems of exporting countries;

Translation: The U.S. government and Monsanto says GMOs and the cancer-causing Roundup are perfectly safe. Your government can do NOTHING to stop Monsanto, DuPont or Dow Chemical from IMPORTING GMOs or their toxic chemicals, even if your state, city or county has passed a ban prohibiting them.

The agreement goes on to say that all countries must implement trade measures “based on risk assessments that take into account relevant international guidelines and scientific data, and are not more restrictive on trade than necessary to meet the intended purpose.”

The question is who decides which international guidelines and scientific data are safe and accurate? When the world’s leading cancer review agency recently declared glyphosate to probably a cancer causing pesticide, Monsanto demanded a retraction!

The Monsanto Kicker: Death to GMO Labeling and Pesticide Bans Around the World!

On page 9 of the Bipartisan Sellout agreement, it becomes very clear what the purpose of the trade agreement really is, claiming that its intent is to “eliminate practices that unfairly decrease”… “market access opportunities or distort agricultural markets to the detriment of the United States”.

Bans on GMOs and toxic pesticides will be challenged and most likely overturned in the secretive tribunal process under the Investor State Dispute Settlement provision.

On page 9 the White House and Congress Declares GMO Labeling is an “Unjustified Trade Restriction”:

(ii) unjustified trade restrictions or commercial requirements, such as labeling, that affect new technologies, including biotechnology.

(iii) unjustified…restrictions, including restrictions not based on scientific principles”

It’s no wonder the White House and the more than 600 corporate lobbyists who have written this deal behind closed doors for the past 5 years are so desperate to keep it secret. If the American people could read the text in full, there’d be a revolt and Monsanto and corporate America knows it.

Trust us, there’s more, but we could only fit so much in one email!

If you eat and care about GMO labeling and stopping Monsanto, Please make sure you forward this email to all your friends and family and make sure they call their Senators today!

Click here if you believe in GMO labeling and think that secret trade deals to kill common sense laws on genetically engineered crops should be stopped! Every voice counts!

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

Remember, democracy is like a muscle, either you use it or you lose it!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

Dave Murphy 
Founder / Executive Director 
Food Democracy Now!

Sources:

1. “Breaking: U.S. Senate Sells out America – Reaches “Deal” on Fast Track for Secret TTP Trade Agreement”, New York Times, April 16, 2015

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1383?ak_proof=1&t=12&akid=.496307.broQeE

2. "Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015," U.S. Senate Finance Committee, April, 2015

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1417?ak_proof=1&t=14&akid=.496307.broQeE

2. “U.S. Senator hopes for Fast-Track Trade Bill Deal by End of Day”, Reuters, April 15, 2015

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1384?ak_proof=1&t=16&akid=.496307.broQeE

3. “Oregonians Are ‘Mad as Hell’ About Trade Deals That Threaten Their Food Supply”, March 27, 2015

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1385?ak_proof=1&t=18&akid=.496307.broQeE

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

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1418?ak_proof=1&t=20&akid=.496307.broQeE

5. “Investor-State Dispute Settlement, The Arbitration Game: Governments are Souring on Treaties to Protect Foreign Investors”, The Economist, October 11, 2014

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1419?ak_proof=1&t=22&akid=.496307.broQeE

6. “Under NAFTA, Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain”, New York Times, November 23, 2014.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1420?ak_proof=1&t=24&akid=.496307.broQeE

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