Last month GRAIN released a report predicting the effects of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the food system and how that would impact the climate. In short, it would promote everything unsustainable about our current system including industrial agriculture, big agribusiness, and highly processed food, and undermine food sovereignty and local efforts to create sustainable food systems. The industrial food system marginalizes small-scale farmers, produces food that is less healthy, and contributes to climate change not just through the obvious on-farm emissions, but also through less visible means like producing packaging for all that processed food. The bottom line is any commitments made next month at the COP21 talks in Paris could be meaningless under free trade agreements like the TPP.
The GRAIN report was based on leaked texts of the TPP. The text of the TPP has now, after years of secret negotiation and speculations, finally been made public, and by most accounts it is worse than predicted.
In fact, the organization 350.org calls the TPP “an act of climate denial.”
The National Farmers Union says the provisions will reduce revenues for farmers and ranchers and speed job loss, ultimately failing family farmers.
It’s not just food and the environment that will be negatively impacted. Doctors, nurses, and public health advocates warn it will hurt public health and impair providers’ ability to provide quality healthcare. Faith groups, LGBT advocates, defenders of democracy, and others are all registering their outrage and you can read some of their reactions here.
Now that the text is publicly available, any interested citizen or organization can read it and analyze it.
Whether you read it yourself or rely on the analysis of others, one thing is clear. It is time to come together and take action. President Obama has already announced his intent to sign and wants a vote in Congress by spring. Let Congress know you demand a fair deal.
Trade can benefit us all, but not on the terms of this TPP.