Free trade agreements are about much more than exports and imports. The pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries covering 40 percent of the global economy. Its 30 chapters include binding rules on investment, food safety and labeling, patents on medicines, foods and plants, among other issues. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S.
The EU and US have very different rules on the treatment of farm animals. The EU recognizes animals as sentient beings and requires Member states to respect their welfare, banning some of the worst forms of cruelty, many of which are common in the United States. Progress has been more limited in the U.S., but animal welfare activists won a major victory with California’s passage of a new law banning eggs produced in battery cages.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats to public health. Margeret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization has warned, “A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”
One of the flashpoints in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks is the pressure to bring EU standards to U.S. levels in ways that expand the use of industrial agriculture despite the risks to human and animal health and worker safety. A range of issues are on the table including the EU's refusal to allow imports of chicken rinsed in chlorine and other harsh chemicals and the use of Ractopamine in pork production. Please join us for a webinar to learn about the trade, food safety and labor rights issues involved in this debate.
China's meat revolution has entailed a massive increase in the concentrations of pigs, cows, poultry on "specialized" farms with intense price competition amongst retailers and processors that provide "cheap" and abundant meat to an urban population. Subsequent food safety problems are resulting in further government incentives for industrialization of the supply chain, with the U.S. meat industry as the model. Can Chinese public opinion change this direction and what lessons can be learned from the U.S. experience?
Despite being banned in Europe due to health risks, atrazine, a hormone-disrupting herbicide, is one of the world's most largely used pesticides—hundreds of millions of pounds per year. It can be found in our lakes, streams, rain, and drinking water, at levels that make a difference to human health. Scientists link exposure to increased risk of birth defects, infertility and cancer, among other health impacts. It turns tadpoles into hermaphrodites.
Conditions affecting children's behavior and brain development, like autism and ADHD, are exploding in prevalence. The CDC estimates autism now is diagnosed in 1-in-88 children, a more than 70 percent increase over just six years. These increases leave many parents, and clinicians, with questions about what's causing autism and how we can work to prevent it.