Genetically modified organisms
European law firm advises on how US companies should lobby the EU to get doors opened to GMOs
A burgeoning global trade agreement with nations such as Japan, Vietnam and Australia is leaving GMO-labeling advocates concerned that it could result in a ban on GMO labeling not only in the US, but in all countries taking part in negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
Will US trade negotiators seek the elimination of GMO restrictions in Europe through the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?
Food safety, GMO cultivation and France’s cherished “cultural exception” for audiovisual services are non-negotiable areas in view of upcoming EU-US free trade talks, the French stressed. The message was apparently well received by the European Commission in Brussels.
An EU-US free trade deal would obliterate EU safeguards for health and
the environment with regard to genetically modified (GM) crops and
foods, warns Earth Open Source.
Like putting an astronaut on Mars, a US-EU bilateral transatlantic trade deal has been a long-held dream of policy makers that seemed always out of reach. Yet Brussels and Washington are edging closer to the launch pad.
EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht has voiced optimism that negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and the United States could start at the beginning of next year.
"We are calling for a ’global class-action’ against Monsanto," said Steven Payan, one of the Davis protest organizers. "We are joining the world in solidarity to demand a ban on all GMO foods and hold Monsanto accountable for its actions throughout history from Agent Orange to Deforestation to current and past deaths to preying on small farmers through a broken court system and also through International Free Trade Agreements."
Commentators are worried that the US may be pressuring countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) - an Asia-Pacific-wide free trade pact - to abolish the labelling of GM foods, which it regards as a trade barrier.
After 16 years of bitter debate, it has been agreed at the international level that governments are free to decide on whether and how to label foods derived from modern biotechnology, including foods containing genetically modified organisms.
One of WikiLeaks’ greatest achievements has been to expose the exorbitant amount of influence that multinational corporations have over Washington’s diplomacy.
Thai authorities are taking precautions to shield businesses and farmers from the fall in farm product prices after tariffs are cut under the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta) at the start of 2010.
The United States has asked Sri Lanka, ranked high for software piracy in Asia, to better enforce intellectual property rights and also lift restrictions on American imports like genetically modified food.
Malaysia is about to adopt its biosafety regulations despite pressure from the US Biotechnology Industry Organisation that called on the US trade representative to reject mandatory labelling of GM products in the US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement, claiming that labelling is tantamount to trade barrier.
Position paper of the US-based Biotechnology Industry Organisation on the US negotiation of a Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA with Singapore, Chile, Brunei, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and Peru
The United States will make it a priority to get rid of barriers to US farm exports based on unjustified sanitary and phytosanitary concerns about human, animal and plant health — including the EU ban on GM crops — the designee for US Trade Representative said on Thursday.
In the food safety arena, both the US and the EU are pressing their standards on other countries through bilateral free trade agreements.
A leading UN Committee has recommended that India review all aspects of its trade negotiations - particularly those with EU and EFTA - to ensure that they do not result in a situation which undermines the rights of people within the country, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Meeting last month in Geneva, the Committee also noted its concern about the impact of genetically-modified seeds in India on farmers’ livelihoods.
The US-Sri Lanka TIFA Council discussed issues affecting US exports, such as Sri Lanka’s agricultural biotechnology policies, import tariffs, intellectual property rights protection, and transparency in government procurement.
The United States is using bilateral trade agreements to arm-twist weaker countries into accepting its food safety standards as a tool to expand the market control of US corporations. South Korea is the latest victim.