Farmers and growers from the Landworkers’ Alliance will protest in London on the 12th July calling for the free trade negotiations between the EU and the US to be scrapped.
The controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the biggest bilateral trade deal in history but negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. They aim to ‘harmonise’ standards and regulations, which will mean a shift towards the lowest common denominator, with serious repercussions for farmer’s livelihoods and public health.
If the corporations involved get their way we will see the increasing import of inferior produce into the EU which will depress prices for farmers. Furthermore, important health and safety standards are at risk with US negotiators pushing to remove regulations on Genetically Modified foods, increase the quantity of pesticide residues permitted and allow the use of dangerous chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones previously banned in the EU.
“The EU’s pre-negotiation concession to allow imports of American beef decontaminated with lactic acid spray is indicative of what is to come – quality in farming and food processing will be driven down into a race to the bottom with farmers and the public loosing out” said Humphery Lloyd a grower and member of the Landworkers’ Alliance.
“This agreement is shaping up to be a hand out to corporations at the expense of public health and food security. If we degrade our import standards in line with the demands consumers will have more than just chlorine soaked chicken to worry about – this will force farmers out of business and seriously erode UK food sovereignty. We demand that the government stops selling out UK farmers and consumers in these negotiations.”
The LWA is a member of the international peasant farming movement La Via Campesina which represents 200 million small-scale producers around the world. We campaign for the rights of small-scale producers and lobby the UK government and European parliament for policies that support the infrastructure and markets central to our livelihoods.
Interviews and photos 12:30pm, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, SW1H 0ET, London