TPP – Food safety has been a major issue in the United States for years. Not because the food we produce is bad, but because much of the food that is imported from countries like China and Vietnam is severely hurting people in the United States. Our food safety regulations are strict to ensure healthy foods, however poor countries have much lower food safety standards than we do.
Vietnam uses chemicals that are banned in the United States in their fish farms yet we still open up our borders to them. China has been notorious for mislabeled food with past due expiration dates on their beef products yet we still allow it to come through onto our dinner plates.
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The fact is that 3,000 people in the United States die each year from foodborne illnesses. To make matters worse, if the Trans Pacific Partnership – TPP – is to pass, this will only become worse. Below are four reasons as to why the TPP makes food safety an even greater issue.
- The FDA is currently underfunded and has only the resources to inspect 1 to 2 percent of imported food. The TPP would only stretch that further since more food imports will be flooding in than now. “We don’t have the regulatory capacity to deal with increased trade from a food standpoint,” said Tony Corbo, senior lobbyist for Food & Water Watch.
- Food from all countries involved in the TPP would be deemed equal, even though one country might have higher standards than the others. “Fish raised with some antibiotics and other veterinary drugs banned in U.S. food production — but allowed in many other TPP countries — could be sold in U.S. grocery stores as a result of the agreement,” said Debbie Barker, international director for the Center for Food Safety.
- Food labeling could completely disappear. According to citizen.org, “under TPP, any U.S. food safety rule on pesticides, labeling or additives that is higher than international standards would be subject to challenge as ‘illegal trade barriers.’ The U.S. would be required to eliminate these rules and allow in the unsafe food, or we would face trade sanctions.”
- We would lose our food sovereignty. According to exposethetpp.org, any U.S. food safety rule on pesticides, labeling or additives that is higher than international standards would be subject to challenge as “illegal trade barriers.” The U.S. would be required to eliminate these rules and allow in the unsafe food, or we would face trade sanctions.
These negotiations are being held completely in secret. Why? Lori Wallach believes that the politicians don’t want the general public to know because the TPP would not survive public scrutiny. If we allow the TPP to pass, our quality of food will be compromised.