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TTIP Could Infect UK Food With Illegal Pesticides: Rights Group

  • People dressed in costumes take part in a demonstration against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, in Munich April 18, 2015.

    People dressed in costumes take part in a demonstration against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, in Munich April 18, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 April 2016
Opinion

Friends of the Earth has identified 3 key areas of concern around TTIP and the impact it will have on UK farming and meat products. 

Human Rights and environmental organization Friends of the Earth say The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partisanship (TTIP) will see more genetically modified crops (GM) and food products lined with pesticides banned in the EU on sale in the U.K. in a statement released on Wednesday.

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In its third and final point Friends of the Earth say the TTIP “will fill supermarket shelves with more meat reared to poor welfare standards and routinely injected with unnecessary antibiotics, pushing our farmers and lawmakers to lower standards to compete.”

The group, which has chapters in 74 countries, say the deal will threaten the UK’s food safety regulations as the U.S. has “less stringent hygiene controls” and still uses “pesticides banned in the EU.”

The group also say that although the agreement means trade between the two nations will be smoother the “lower cost of most meat and dairy products in the U.S. means that the value of the livestock and dairy sectors will decline.”

This, they say, will result in the contribution of agriculture to the UK's GDP to fall by US$1.1 billion or £765 million. 

Commenting on the report, Friends of the Earth campaigner, Kierra Box, said the majority of British farmers will be worse off than before the deal.

“The majority of British farmers and consumers will lose out if TTIP goes ahead. TTIP risks further intensification of farming leading to farms across Europe being driven out of business. This means we could also see hard-fought for food quality standards destroyed,” Box said.

“Farmers are at the heart of our communities across Europe, not faceless agri-business,” she continued.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, is one of three major U.S. trade deals being negotiated behind closed doors. If approved, the trade deal would be the largest bilateral free trade pact ever, affecting 40 percent of the global economy.

It has been labelled controversial by many groups and even prompted thousands to line the streets of the German city of Hanover in protest of the proposed deal. 

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