Right now two secret trade agreements, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are being negotiated behind closed doors. And if you thought the Monsanto Protection Act was bad, the secret trade deals called the TPP and TAFTA are a global nightmare.
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 under cover of darkness with the TPP and TAFTA.
For the past several years, Monsanto and more than 600 other multinational corporations and industry front groups are working hand in glove with the Obama administration to draft secret global trade agreements that will undermine the democratic rule of law and place our basic legal protections in the hands of shady corporate lobbyists.
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 and TAFTA - the global Monsanto Protection Act on steroids! Every voice counts!
The real problem is that these secret “free” trade agreements are an end run around our democracy, replacing critical civil rights, labor and environmental protections with permanent corporate privilege and unlimited profits without any voice for the people.
If ever ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations like Monsanto and the biotech industry the unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits – like GMO labeling and countywide bans on these crops.
Bottom line, secret trade deals like the TPP and TAFTA are a corporate takeover of the basic laws that govern our every day life and an end run around “the will of the People” in America and nations around the globe.
According to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the TPP allows corporations to rewrite “existing and future American laws” to “be altered to conform” to the terms that corporate lobbyists and bureaucrats decide in secret or major “trade sanctions can be imposed against American exports.”
Monsanto and the U.S.’s Real Plan Behind TPP, TAFTA and Secret Trade Negotiations
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.
Fortunately, 2 U.S. Senators wrote a letter that exposed the real agenda behind the TPP and TAFTA when it comes to genetically engineered foods and it reads like a Monsanto playbook.
According to Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) letter to Obama’s chief trade representative, the goal for Monsanto and agribusiness in the TPP and TAFTA secret trade agreements is to lower “trade barriers for American agricultural products”, including “the EU’s restrictions on genetically engineered crops”.
The negotiations have already set off alarm bells for farmers and educated consumers in Europe who fear these secret trade deals will be used to undermine their nation's laws to flood Europe with Monsanto’s untested GMO crops.
Currently 64 countries around the world, including all of Europe, require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Regretfully the U.S. does not. Some nations in Europe have even gone so far as to ban GMO crops. Because of this, Monsanto and the biotech industry are desperate to use the secret trade negotiations to force their GMO products onto Europeans, who, like most Americans, don’t want them.
But because of relentless pressure and misinformation from Monsanto and biotech companies, America’s elected officials and trade representatives are now working behind the scenes trying to mandate other country’s accept their toxic patented seed technologies over national and European Union laws decided by locally elected governments. Now, because the GMO labeling movement is on the verge of success here in the U.S., they’re working to make it impossible for countries to refuse their GMO crops. This is outrageous!
Say goodbye to decades of hard-fought protections against Monsanto’s corrupt corporate power! We need your help to get the word out and make sure that Congress and President Obama know we’re watching them. It’s time to stop Monsanto and the corporate power grab!
Remember, democracy is like a muscle, either you use it or you lose it!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. “Will European Requirements for Labeling GMO Foods Survive New Trade Negotiations?”, Huffington Post, July 3, 2013.
2. “At Trade Talks, U.S., E.U. Ready for Fight on Genetically Modified Crops”, The Washington Post, May 17, 2013.
3. “Stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Global Revolt Against Corporate Domination”, Truth Out, July 10, 2013
4. “Obama’s Covert Trade Deal”, The New York Times, June 2, 2013
5. "Flush the TPP: Stop the Global Corporate Coup!", http://www.flushthetpp.org/