User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan

offsite link 13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips

offsite link Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony

offsite link Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young

offsite link Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft

Irish Left Review >>

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien

offsite link Interview with Cathal Goulding Mon Dec 26, 2016 17:11 | Cathal Goulding

offsite link Trump, Russia and the CIA Sat Dec 10, 2016 18:23 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

offsite link THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

offsite link Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Greenpeace (NL) releases TTIP documents

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Wednesday May 04, 2016 22:45author by greenpeace - Greenpeace Netherlandsauthor email pressdesk.int at greenpeace dot org Report this post to the editors

Press Release - 2 May 2016

Amsterdam, 2 May 2016 - www.ttip-leaks.org Today Greenpeace Netherlands releases secret documents of the EU-US TTIP negotiations. On www.ttip-leaks.org the documents will be made available for everyone to read, because democracy needs transparency.

“These documents make clear the scale and scope of the trade citizens of the United States and the European Union are being asked to make in pursuit of corporate profits. It is time for the negotiations to stop, and the debate to begin.

Should we be able to act when we have reasonable grounds to believe our health and wellbeing is at risk, or must we wait until the damage is done?

Were our governments serious in Paris when they said they would do what was necessary to protect the planet, and keep climate change under 1.5 degrees?

Environmental protection should not be seen as a barrier to trade, but as a safeguard for our health, and the health of future generations.

ttip_leaks_greenpeace.jpg

We call on citizens, civil society, politicians and businesses to engage in this debate openly and without fear. We call on the negotiators to release the latest, complete text to facilitate that discussion, and we ask that the negotiations be stopped until these questions, and many more have been answered. Until we can fully engage in a debate about the standards we and our planet need and want” - Sylvia Borren, Executive Director Greenpeace Netherlands.

Which documents are we releasing?

The documents that Greenpeace Netherlands has released comprise about half of the draft text as of April 2016, prior to the start of the 13th round of TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US (New York, 25-29 April 2016). As far as we know the final document will consist of 25 to 30 chapters and many extensive annexes. The EU Commission published an overview stating that they have now 17 consolidated texts. This means the documents released by Greenpeace Netherlands encompass 3/4 of the existing consolidated texts.[1]

Consolidated texts are those where the EU and US positions on issues are shown side by side. This step in the negotiation process allows us to see the areas where the EU and US are close to agreement, and where compromises and concessions would still need to be made. Of the documents released by Greenpeace Netherlands, in total 248 pages, 13 chapters offer for the first time the position of the US.

How have the documents been handled?

The documents we received had clearly been treated to make it possible to identify individual copies. Prior to release they have been retyped and identifying features removed. We have not altered content of the documents and have preserved the layout. For this reason we are not offering access to the original documents.

How do you know the documents are genuine?

After receiving the documents both Greenpeace Netherlands and Rechercheverbund NDR, WDR und Süddeutsche Zeitung, a renowned German investigative research partnership have analysed them and compared them to existing documents. The Rechercheverbund, which consists of different German media outlets, has covered, amongst other big stories, the Snowden leaks and the recent Volkswagen emissions scandals.

What are the first conclusions from the documents?

From an environmental and consumer protection point of view four aspects are of serious concern.

Long standing environmental protections appear to be dropped

None of the chapters we have seen reference the General Exceptions rule. This nearly 70-year-old rule enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), allows nations to regulate trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health" or for "the conservation of exhaustible natural resources" [2]. The omission of this regulation suggests both sides are creating a regime that places profit ahead of human, animal and plant life and health.

Climate protection will be harder under TTIP

The Paris Climate Agreement makes one point clear: We must keep temperature increase under 1.5 degrees to avoid a climate crisis with effects on billions of people worldwide. Trade should not be excluded from climate action. But nothing indicating climate protection can be found in the obtained texts. Even worse, the scope for mitigation measures is limited by provisions of the chapters on Regulatory Cooperation or Market Access for Industrial Goods. [3] As an example these proposals would rule out regulating the import of CO2 intensive fuels such as oil from Tar Sands.

The end of the precautionary principle

The precautionary principle, enshrined in the EU Treaty[4], is not mentioned in the chapter on Regulatory Cooperation, nor in any other of the obtained 12 chapters. On the other hand the US demand for a ‘risk based’ approach that aims to manage hazardous substances rather than avoid them, finds its way into various chapters. This approach undermines the ability of regulators to take preventive measures, for example regarding controversial substances like hormone disrupting chemicals.

Opening the door for corporate takeover

While the proposals threaten environmental and consumer protection, big business gets what it wants. Opportunities to participate in decision making are granted to corporations to intervene at the earliest stages of the decision making process.

While civil society has had little access to the negotiations, there are many instances where the papers show that industry has been granted a privileged voice in important decisions. [5] The leaked documents indicate that the EU has not been open about the high degree of industry influence. The EU’s recent public report [6] has only one minor mention of industry input, whereas the leaked documents repeatedly talk about the need for further consultations with industry and explicitly mention how industry input has been collected.

END

Notes
The TTIP documents can be found at: https://www.ttip-leaks.org/ as a zip file here or see the attached zip file here.

[1] The documents we are releasing are

[chapter 1.1.] National Treatment and Market Access for Goods

This chapter addresses trade in goods between EU and US.

[chapter 1.2.] Agriculture

This chapter deals with trade in agricultural products and illustrates EU-US disagreements on matters such as genetically modified organisms.

[chapter 1.3.] Cross-Border Trade in Services

This chapter addresses trade in the service industry sector.

[chapter 1.4] Electronic Communications

This chapter addresses Internet and telecommunications issues.

[chapter 1.5.] Government Procurement

This chapter deals with purchases by government entities within the EU and US.

[chapter 1.6.] Annex Government Procurement

The annex of the previous chapter, with additional information about a US-proposed chapter on anti-corruption.

[chapter 1.7.] Customs and Trade and Facilitation

This chapter addresses differences among various customs regulations.

[chapter 1.8.] EU – US revised tariff offers

These are the respective positions regarding tariffs.

[chapter 2.1.] Regulatory Cooperation

In this controversial chapter EU and US aim for joint regulations on products and services, for example for food and cosmetics safety.

[chapter 2.2.] Technical Barriers to Trade

This chapter addresses differences between EU-US regulations and the ways in which they affect trade.

[chapter 2.3.] Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

This chapter deals with the protection of plant and animal health.

[chapter 3.1.] Competition

This chapter deals with competition between parties.

[chapter 3.2.] Small and Medium-sized Enterprise

This chapter addresses enterprises smaller than multi-national corporations.

[chapter 3.3.] State-owned Enterprise

This chapter addresses nationalised enterprises.

[chapter 4.] Dispute Settlement

This chapter deals with resolving disagreements between the EU and the US.

[chapter 5.] Tactical State of Play

Not intended for public viewing, this document describes EU-US disagreements and shows how much private industry influences the TTIP negotiations.

[2] Most of the WTO's agreements were the outcome of the 1986-94 Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. Some, including GATT 1994, were revisions of texts that previously existed.

[3] Nothing in the relevant Articles 10 (Import and Export Restrictions) and 12 (Import and Export Licensing) of the Chapter on National Treatment and Market Access for Goods shows that necessary trade related measures to protect the climate would be allowed as a trade restriction under GATT Article XX (see footnote 1).

[4] “The precautionary principle is detailed in Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU). It aims at ensuring a higher level of environmental protection through preventative decision-taking in the case of risk. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URIS...32042

[5] e.g. “While the US showed an interest, it hastened to point out that it would need to consult with its industry regarding some of the products” – Chapter ‘Tactical State of Play’, paragraph 1.1, Agriculture.

[6] ‘The Twelfth Round of Negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)’ http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2016/march/tradoc...1.pdf

Contacts:

Dutch media please contact Greenpeace Netherlands, +31 (0)6 21 29 68 95, persvoorlichting@greenpeace.nl

Brussels media please contact Greenpeace EU press desk, +32 (0)2 274 1911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

International media please contact Greenpeace International press desk (24 hours), +31 (0)20 718 2470, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org

Related Link: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releas...ents/

attachment TTIP Leak Docs Zip File containing 16 pdf doc files -courtesy www.ttip-leaks.org 1.33 Mb

author by 1 of Indymediapublication date Wed May 04, 2016 23:27Report this post to the editors

In light of all the activity and leaks around the contents of the EU-US TTIP agreement earlier in the week this article below by Graham Vanbergen of truepublica.org.uk adds an important dimension to the above story.

This article was also reported by Global Research in The New Atlantic Trade and Investment Regime (TTIP): EU GMO Rules Will be Scrapped. EU Commission Caves in to US Demands at http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-atlantic-trade-and...22115

A joint report conducted by Greenpeace, Corporate Europe Observatory and Gene Watch UK issued a briefing paper last week entitled “Commission fails to regulate new GMOs after intense US lobbying.” -see pdf attachment or http://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/20160421...1.pdf

In essence, the European Commission has effectively deserted its principles when it comes to GMO’s entering the food chain within the 28 nation bloc. Intense lobbying by United States representatives for the EU Commission to disregard current GMO rules which require stringent safety tests and labelling has proved successful. The result is that genetically modified organisms produced through a modified technique called ‘gene editing’ will be allowed. Gene editing is all but the same as anything we understand about GMO’s generally.

Freedom of Information documents show the scale of US lobbying has overwhelmed the EU Commission who now stand accused of bowing to US pressure and abdicating to the corporations and rejecting citizen concerns. The documents reveal that US representatives pushed for the EU to disregard its own GMO rules on the basis that the EU were simply putting up barriers and stifling trade under the proposed TTIP negotiations. The papers state that the EU should completely ignore health and environmental safeguards to pave the way for successful negotiations.

On the EC website http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/gmo/legislation/index_en.htm the very first paragraph reads: “The European Union has established a legal framework to ensure that the development of modern biotechnology, and more specifically of GMOs, takes place in safe conditions.”

In the EU’s GMO directive/2001/18 the Directive clearly states: (clause 10)”For a comprehensive and transparent legislative framework, it is necessary to ensure that the public is consulted by either the Commission or the Member States during the preparation of measures and that they are informed of the measures taken during the implementation of this Directive” and (clause 19) “A case-by-case environmental risk assessment should always be carried out prior to a release. It should also take due account of potential cumulative long-term effects associated with the interaction with other GMOs and the environment.”

EU’s GMO directive/2001/18: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELE...L0018

In addition, the GMO Directive is quite clear on one thing (clause 23): “No GMOs, as or in products, intended for deliberate release are to be considered for placing on the market without first having been subjected to satisfactory field testing at the research and development stage in ecosystems which could be affected by their use.”

Clearly none of these clauses within the directive are going to be adhered to under the new TTIP regime. The EU Commission requested a ‘legal opinion‘ to be carried out, not an environmental impact report. There’s a difference. Here, the EU Commission has been able to establish legally that GMO’s created through certain new techniques such as gene editing somehow makes them safe and therefore not subject to a high bar of scrutiny that previously existed. The ‘opinion’ request was announced last year by the commission and that triggered an intense round of lobbying by the US.

Originally the EU Commission had stated that this technique would be classified the same way as other GMO’s which the US representatives stated would be “another blow to agriculture and technology”. In its response, it is not overly surprising given the secretive nature of TTIP negotiations that the full text of the legal opinion has not been published and other than a leak, the public will not be given sight of it. Corporate Europe Observatory sent six freedom of Information requests, none have revealed the information required.

These new gene editing techniques are simply a way round current rules and as the documents show, the US was clearly unhappy with new breeding techniques requiring new rules and ominously stated that “regulatory hurdles between governments would lead to potentially significant trade disruption” – in other words, they issued a threat.

US companies are heavily involved in gene editing techniques including the use of ODM (oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis). For example, this includes a company called Cibus which acquired a herbicide resistant oilseed rape engineered through this technique to the US market. Cibus then tried to bypass EU rules by lobbying the Commission to classify ODM as a non GMO.

Dow Chemicals and DuPont, now merged to form DowDuPont have a big interest in the same techniques as revealed by recent patent applications.

US corporations are very used to having strong trade support from the US government who heavily pressure external entities such as sovereign states with companies such as Monsanto having GM soybeans pushed by the US trade department within the TTIP negotiations.

In the US genetically modified organisms are not routinely tested by a regulatory system and can even be produced and placed on the market for human or animal consumption without any form of testing whatsoever. In addition, there are no labelling laws that require these products to be identified in the US food chain. The US Food and Drug Administration, obviously acting on behalf of corporations even rejected large scale citizen protest petitions for food labelling of GMO’s.

The aim of the corporations involved, supported by the US trade department, is to get to a position where no real testing regulations or food labelling systems or laws are present to protect or at least inform European citizens of what they are consuming.

Officially there are now 38 countries that have fully banned the use of GMO foods. 28 of those nations reside within the European Union. Nations with strong anti-GMO laws are Belize, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela in the Americas, Turkey, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan in Asia, Algeria and Madagascar in Africa. The picture on GM cultivation bans across Africa is not clear due to the current pressure being put on many African governments by the Biotech industry and the Gates Foundation to lift long-standing bans on the import of unmilled GMO seeds or unmilled GMO food aid.

In addition, Russia has not only banned the use of GMO foods but also banned any imports. Last year, China started allowing the use of GMO seeds and may well end up being a world leader in the field within a few years.

http://corporateeurope.org/sites/default/files/20160421...1.pdf

PDF Document Commission fails to regulate new GMOs after intense US lobbying 0.25 Mb

Related Link: http://truepublica.org.uk/eu/ttip-current-eu-gmo-rules-...sure/
 
© 2001-2017 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy