For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; drakestraw@fwwatch.org

NAFTA Reboot Threatens Food Safety, Promotes Fracking and GMOs

Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch

WASHINGTON - “The Trump administration released the text of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal that would enshrine and globalize Trump’s deregulatory zealotry into a trade pact that would outlast the administration and imperil future efforts to protect consumers, workers and the environment.

“The text reveals provisions that undermine U.S. food safety protections, including aggressive ‘sound science’ language designed to make it harder to defend or implement food safety safeguards. The text includes the type of attacks on commonsense public health standards that were championed by the disgraced Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Including the ‘sound science’ red herring in trade pacts means that even after Trump leaves the White House, his deregulatory agenda is locked into international agreements.

“The new text encourages the United States to accept the food safety rules in Mexico as comparable to domestic protections, and to accept imports from Mexico with less scrutiny than from other countries. The deal even creates new ways for Canada and Mexico to second-guess U.S. border inspectors that halt suspicious food shipments, which would have a dangerously chilling effect on food safety enforcement.

“The new deal also has giant giveaways to the agrochemical industry that paves the way for unregulated gene-edited GMOs, rolls back Mexico’s regulation of GMOs, and lets chemical giants like Monsanto and Dow keep the data on the safety of their pesticides secret for 10 years.

“The energy provisions will encourage more pipelines and exports of natural gas and oil that would further expand fracking in the United States and Mexico. The text also provides new avenues for polluters to challenge and try and roll back proposed environmental safeguards, cementing Trump’s pro-polluter agenda in the trade deal.

“Food & Water Watch will closely read the food safety, chemical safety, energy, water and other deregulatory language in the coming weeks to assess the extent of the additional negative impact on these issues. A closer look at the text will undoubtedly reveal a host of pro-polluter, pro-fossil fuel industry, pro-Wall Street deregulation that has been a hallmark of Trump’s domestic agenda.

“This deal is a giant step backwards for people, communities and the environment. Based on our initial read, Trump’s trade deal poses a considerably greater threat to commonsense regulatory protections than the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, and Congress must reject it.”

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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