International trade agreements may seem like a long way from what you’re making for dinner. But the two agreements on the table this spring–the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)—could have a profound impact on the food we eat.
The agreements have been negotiated behind closed doors and could be submitted to Congress soon. In the case of the TPP, it could even happen this week.
Civil Eats spoke to experts to find out what consumers need to know about these agreements.
How do these agreements work?
The goal of the TPP–like other such free trade deals–is to make it easier for countries to export their products to others in the agreements. It does so by removing “barriers to trade,” like import taxes and other regulations that can make it difficult to export or import certain products.
Center for Food Safety’s international director, Debbie Barker, says it’s important to remember that the TPP and TTIP, “like other modern day trade agreements, have gone beyond the historical role of dealing with tariffs and quotas.” This means softening or even doing away with regulations in order to facilitate trade.
When it comes to food, this could mean relaxing rules that limit pesticide residue on produce, restrict antibiotic, pharmaceutical or other chemical use in aquaculture and livestock production or additives, including nanomaterials in food processing. It could also interfere with labeling requirements.
For example, the TTIP could potentially lead to reducing EU requirements for labeling food containing genetically engineered ingredients and nanomaterials.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: What Do International Trade Agreements Have to Do With Dinner?