Food Sovereignty at Stake in New Trade Deals

stop-taftaCompanies from the U.S. and the EU are conducting trade negotiations in secret, and the negotiations are explicitly geared toward eliminating “localization,” which those companies see as a barrier to trade. That’s right, in the view of trade officials, localization is a vice, not a virtue.[1] The U.S. and EU negotiating objectives for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP, also known as TAFTA because of its similarities to NAFTA) seek to bring regulatory standards on pesticides, toxic chemicals and food safety between the EU and U.S. closer together Read More >

What does trans-Atlantic trade have to do with antibiotic resistance?

stop-taftaTo understand what’s at stake with a forthcoming trade treaty, we can take a look at a tale from Down Under. The story of Philip Morris Asia Limited v. The Commonwealth of Australia begins in 1993, when the governments of Australia and Hong Kong signed a trade agreement. Fast forward to 2011, when Australia passed the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, a groundbreaking public health measure that requires all cigarettes to be sold in dull, brown packages, with no company logos. It was the world’s first legislation to remove branding from cigarette boxes. Philip Morris’s response was to calculate the law’s impact on profits and sue for damages. The arbitration with Philip Morris is ongoing. Read More >