Control over food is at stake with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
By Mark Dunlea
The agriculture section of the Ecology Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as the latest Free Trade Agreement (FTA) assault against food sovereignty, where the profits of multinational companies are placed ahead of the food security needs of individual nations. The TPP seeks to revive the stalled expansion of the World Trade Organization.
The TPP is a trade agreement under secret negotiation by by Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Japan will join at the next meeting).
Access to food is a basic human right. Instead, TPP expands the notion that food is just another commodity subject to economic speculation and exploitation solely to increase the profits of multinational corporations. TPP promotes export-oriented food production, its passage will increase global hunger and malnutrition, alienate millions from their productive assets and resources; land, water, fish, seeds, technology and generations of cultural knowledge.
In order to guarantee the independence and food sovereignty of all of the world’s peoples, it is essential that food is produced though diversified, community based production systems. Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to control their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self reliant; to restrict the dumping of agricultural products in their markets, and; to guarantee local fisheries-based communities the right to manage their aquatic resources.
A TPP trade agreement will impact all levels of the food system, from the growers, to the markets distributing the food; from the quality of the food available to consumers, to the ability of governments to protect and be held accountable to their people. The TPP is designed to help agribusiness get bigger and more powerful in their drive to consolidate ownership of the food system — from seed to shelf. The TPP will speed up the global race to the bottom in terms of farm prices, workers’ wages, environmental standards and human rights.