There's a giant, Trojan horse threatening people in Europe, a grassroots environmental network has warned.
That "horse" is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an EU-U.S. trade deal currently being negotiated. While the European Commission has touted the economic benefits of the deal for those on both sides of the Atlantic, Friends of the Earth Europe says TTIP could put the continent's food safety at risk, enable more dirty energy and foster corporate power.
To highlight these risks, FOE Europe launched on Tuesday its Trojan Treaty tour, which includes a 26-foot tall "Trojan horse." The horse will be in Copenhagen until Thursday, and will make other stops in the coming months, including locations in Germany, Belgium, Spain and Estonia.
— Friends of the Earth (@foeeurope) September 10, 2014
FOE is among several groups that has sought to call out potential dangers of the deal — what is known so far is based on leaked documents. Chef and "food revolution" activist Jamie Oliver has echoed food safety concerns regarding the trade deals' potential weakening of hormones and pesticide restrictions, while others have focused on how the deal could lead to unwanted genetically modified food on the continent. A leaked draft indicated that the deal could lead to more fracking in the U.S. and EU, and the EU trade chief has reportedly pushed for the deal to ease U.S. gas and oil exports to the continent.
"If agreed, this trade deal between Europe and the US will affect every single citizen in Europe," stated Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe. "Real people power can prevent irreversible damage being done by this Trojan treaty. Our Trojan Horse tour is about standing up for citizens and our right to decide our own laws and putting people and our planet before big business profits."
"We have to stop this Trojan horse trade deal from destroying our environment, health and rights that we have struggled for decades to protect," added Nanna Clifforth from Friends of the Earth Denmark and grassroots network NOAH. "The trade agreement risks putting genetically modified food on our plates, and increasing the use of fracking and other forms of dirty energy. It will give big business the power to sue our governments in secret corporate courts when new protections for citizens get in the way of profit. We would be crazy to open the door to this trade deal."
To keep track of the Trojan horse as it makes its way through other cities in Europe, follow the hashtag #TrojanHorseTreaty on Twitter.