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Obama's secret TPP deal could block GMO labeling in sovereign nations


Trans-Pacific Partnership

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(NaturalNews) The granting of fast-track authority in Congress for President Obama, so he can ram through a stealthy trade deal without changes or amendments by the people's representatives, hit a snag in recent days after members of the president's own party blocked its passage in the Senate.

Democrats, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, filibustered a bill that would have permitted only an up-or-down vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between the United States and about a dozen other nations. But given the president's tenacity -- this deal is one of his second-term priorities -- and Washington's lobbyist infestation, where corporations and special interests make the rules, the Warren-led effort may just be temporary.

Meantime, Americans are left wondering what is actually in the deal, because Obama has steadfastly refused to make the details, which have taken a decade to hammer out, public. What's more, if lawmakers are permitted to see the deal at all, as Warren and others have pointed out, it has to be done in secret as well: No cell phones, no note-taking, no copying of documents.

There are many foes of this agreement, but some of the most concerned are those who are fighting for food freedom. Anti-GMO activists, especially, believe provisions of the agreement that have been leaked[PDF] appear to indicate that GMO foods will become much more widespread, and that any U.S. effort to require GMO labeling of foods won't be permitted.

The devil is in the (secret) details

For now, that is speculation -- there has been no independent confirmation that is the case. But there is a swelling body of evidence suggesting that GMOs are going to get the standard, pro-Monsanto treatment they always have.

As early as 2013, Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, was reporting that TPP would likely ban GMO labeling as well as all moratoria on GMO crops among the signatory nations.

Around the same time a news site known as Nation of Change was reporting similar information, specifically:

The labeling of foods containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) will not be allowed. Japan currently has labeling laws for GMOs in food. Under the TPP Japan would no longer be able to label GMOs. This situation is the same for New Zealand and Australia. In the US we are just beginning to see some progress towards labeling GMOs. Under the TPP GMO labels for US food would not be allowed.

The site also noted that the chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique.

In addition, a news site known as Yes! Magazine made similar claims of anti-GMO language in TPP -- or language that could be used to combat GMO opponents.

Language in the leaked TPP documents[PDF] is also ominous.

One provision states that "the United States proposes that each Party ensures that its marketing authorization process considers generally-accepted international scientific best practices and supports an assessment of product safety, effectiveness and quality that form the basis for a final benefit-to-risk assessment. In addition, a Party would only be able to consider information related to the safety, efficacy, manufacturing quality and labeling of the medical device or pharmaceutical product as the basis for making its marketing authorization determination...." While this section seems to apply to medical devices and drugs, the same language could also be used to define GMO crop distribution and labeling practices.

Standardized practices mean all nations have to comply with one set of rules

Further:

Each Party shall consider relevant, internationally-developed guidances, such as those developed by ICH or WHO technical committees, when developing or implementing laws and regulations on the marketing authorization of pharmaceutical products. A Party shall, upon request, explain its consideration of such guidelines and provide a rationale for any deviations. ... Each Party shall make its determination on whether to grant marketing authorization for a specific pharmaceutical product solely on the basis of information related to the safety, efficacy, labeling, and manufacturing quality of the product.

This could include labeling regulations and could very well apply to GMOs and food products as well. Therefore, if "internationally-developed guidances" don't allow for GMO labeling, then it will be effectively banned.

For her part, Warren said she opposed the fast-track legislation for three reasons: The agreement is being kept in the dark, preventing the American people, via their elected representatives, from learning what's it in first; "corporations under this deal are going to get to sue countries for regulations they don't like and that the decisions are not going to be made by courts, they're going to be made by private lawyers"; and third, Obama "wants us to vote on a six-year, grease-the-skids deal."

Adds Adams: "Maybe this is why the TPP is being referred to as the 'Death Star' of our modern economy."

Sources:

http://www.npr.org

http://www.citizenstrade.org[PDF]

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.nationofchange.org

http://www.yesmagazine.org

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