– Why Should You Be Concerned?
A Public Information Forum with Dr. Shiv Chopra
The Government of Canada makes the following claims about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on its web site:
• The TPP protects Canada’s right to maintain and implement measures to ensure food safety for consumers as well as to protect animal or plant life or health. Food product imports will only be accepted if they meet Canada’s rigorous health and safety requirements, which have been fully protected.
• TPP Agreement will not impair the ability of Canada or its partners to regulate or legislate in areas such as the environment, culture, safety, health and conservation.
• Nothing in any of Canada’s Free Trade Agreements exempts foreign investors from having to comply with Canadian laws or regulations.
• Promoting trade and investment has never jeopardized our main economic and social values, nor will it in the future.
However, there is clear evidence that these government claims are not true. For instance, rBGH-induced milk, which is forbidden to be imported into Canada will be allowed back into the country under the proposed TPP. Bovine growth hormone which has been proven to be harmful to injected cows is only one of many food safety and food sovereignty issues that threaten public health if Canada signs on to the TPP.
The TPP was negotiated in secret by lawyers and lobbyists not by elected representatives. The proposed trade deal includes an investor rights protection agreement that will permit corporations to challenge and overturn public decisions around food safety and will handcuff municipal and provincial food sovereignty policy. Canada has already lost hundreds of millions of dollars of such claims under NAFTA. According to the Council of Canadians the TPP ‘will create even more opportunities for corporations to challenge public decisions.’
The federal government’s promise to hold public consultations with Canadians on the TPP has not lived up to expectations. Consultation activities have been mostly with other levels of government, officialdom and industry groups shutting ordinary Canadians out of a meaningful public consultation process.
Dr. Shiv Chopra who worked for decades on the front lines of food safety as a veterinary drug regulator with Health Canada is touring communities across Canada to tell Canadians why the TPP is a threat to a safe and sovereign Canadian food supply and why it must be rejected.
Dr. Chopra who heads the Canadian Council on Food Sovereignty and Health will be doing a Cross Canada Tour to invite citizens to have their say on the TPP and what it means to the Canadian food supply.