Corporate Greed Won’t Get the Last Word

Barely into the new year and already two pieces of concerning news have hit the radar.

First, TransCanada announced it would sue the US government for blocking the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would have added capacity to the dirty oil industry, helping them to ship tar sand oil from Canada through the United States, devastating eco-systems and communities, public health, and waterways along the way. In one of the great environmental victories of 2015, President Obama rejected the pipeline as counter to national interest. And now the US is being sued for this decision. How can this be? NAFTA—the North American Free Trade Agreement allows companies to sue governments that implement policies to protect its own citizens’ health, environment, or economic interests if those policies hurt corporate profits.

Second, the USDA released its new dietary guidelines, which, despite thousands of comments from citizens and experts recommending more plants and less meat (particularly the majority of meat which is produced in CAFOs—Confined Animal Feeding Operations) caved to the meat industry lobby and released guidelines with no clear message in this area.

There is a silver lining in all of this. Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) have long cited as one concern the ability of corporations to undermine the ability of national and local governments to protect its people and its environment. The Keystone XL lawsuit provides very real and concrete evidence that this is a real and valid concern. There can be no question not that anyone who values the right of communities and nations to protect the environment, create decent jobs for working families, and work toward food sovereignty must oppose the TPP.

Similarly, it is clear that anyone who is not comfortable with the corporate control of our food system must take action. This, in part, is why we have joined other environmental, public health, and worker organizations to ask Darden, the nation’s largest restaurant operator, to shift to more healthy, fair, and sustainable food.

What at first appear to be two wins for corporate greed to start the year is best seen as a call to action. We will not let those who promote free trade over fair trade or unsustainable food systems over fair trade get the last word!

2 thoughts on “Corporate Greed Won’t Get the Last Word

  1. Ahhhhh, the power of greed. Let’s hurt many, many people so a very few can make bigger profits.

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