On 28 December, right before the sixth round of negotiations on the TTIP trade deal, American and European pesticide lobby groups CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), made recommendations for TTIP negotiators to consider on regulatory convergence. These lobby groups do not represent the interests of the ordinary citizen - but powerhouse pesticide corporations active on both sides of the Atlantic, (e.g. BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta).
And instead of taking this opportunity to align standards at the highest possible level to protect environmental and human health, the pesticide industry is attempting to manipulate trade negotiations. The industry aims lower the EU's progressive environmental health and food safety legislation, with little consideration for environmental or health impacts.
The Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL) published a report in January 2015 to demonstrate the pesticide industry’s actual goal of increasing trade while increasing the risk of harm to European and American citizens. As mentioned in CIEL's report, the recommendations of the pesticide industry threaten to:
• Weaken EU laws to permit the use of carcinogens and other substances of very high concern as pesticides, posing a health hazard to workers, consumers, and communities
• Allow the import of food from the US with higher levels of toxic pesticides
• Weaken, slow or stop efforts to regulate endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals
• Obstruct efforts to save bee populations, risking irrevocable damage to the quality and quantity of our food supply
• Block access to information that is vital to developing non-toxic alternatives
• Interfere with the democratic process by usurping the regulatory authority of US States and EU Member States, and
• Install a “regulatory ceiling”, hampering global pesticide regulation.
This is just a preview of how far the pesticide industry is willing to go to maximize profits. Do we want to take the risk?