The Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the US and food
Today I get into someone else’s garden and I honestly do not know how I’ll get out of it. I want to say that today I intend to bring to the blog a topic that of course goes beyond the strictly nutritional, dietary or food safety issues. At least the most technical. But that in one way or another affects them in an important way … both from a professional and, undoubtedly, personal perspective; and therefore, at least in this last sense, they also affect you to the same extent as I do .
I want to refer to what is known as the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the United States , ( Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, abbreviated as TTIP ) although the truth is said … know each other, what you say you know, you know very little .
If you are one of those who, like me, ate breakfast recently with the existence of this Treaty I briefly update you on what I have been able to get to know. Here you have the scarce official information provided by the European Commission itself from its website. That is, they report on the progress in previous rounds of negotiation but do not report too much on their nature and purposes. So I throw myself into the pool and I explain it to you.
In general, this treaty (TTIP) intends with its negotiations to progress in free trade and investments between the European Union (EU) and the United States (USA). In these negotiations, food issues are not the only one of the issues to be addressed, but they are one of the most important, given the more than notable differences in these matters between the EU and the US .
Thus said the truth does not sound at all bad, it is more, for those of us who are regular readers of science fiction the subject of free trade, for example food, on a single planet Earth without major geopolitical differences is something observed as natural. But the fact is that we are not talking about science fiction and perhaps there is still too much for this utopian future. Or at least the current circumstances make it very difficult to imagine how to overcome the abysmal differences in questions of production, marketing and labeling related to food between both entities .
More in detail, I mean that the rules … and even EU and US policies are diametrically opposed in these issues: the use of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in animal production, the marketing of irradiated foods, the use of the transgenics and the labeling of all these issues are terribly different between Europe and the United States. Here is a much more guarantee policy (in relation to protecting the health of citizens) from the use, no matter what area of these issues known as the precautionary principle , unlike in the US where its policy in this regard of these issues is much more liberal. In order to be better understood, and understood as a phrase, in the EU, not even half of the issues that are allowed in the food sector in the US are allowed . However, or precisely because of this, the TTIP aims to be a channel to iron out these differences and achieve, in one way or another, that what is produced on one side can be marketed without major restrictions on the other and vice versa.
The issue is not trivial since in the words of Global Food Justice one of the most critical sectors
The worst of the matter, the most murky … the most conspiranoic if you prefer is that this whole issue seems to be orchestrated, mainly, by the big food corporations . To the extent that even the members of the European Parliament can not access the drafts of the negotiations … and of the social organizations or the press, we do not even talk anymore. However, those that are very well aware and are part of these negotiations are apparently the organizations that represent the interests of the corporations that, since 2012, are exchanging information with the negotiating teams on the key issues of the treaty. . A fact that contravenes, for example and as shown by the Aarhus Convention , a Convention promoted by the United Nations and signed by the EU (not by the US) that commits it to guarantee access to information, participation and, if necessary, to environmental justice.