$400bn food trade rules in spotlight
The proposed TTIP agreement is specifically coming under scrutiny for lowering, rather than raising, food standards. Worth over $400bn, the volume of world food trade is enormous and standards are pivotal. As the TTIP priority will be to maximise trade and there is a proposed shift in power from national governments to a new international trade committee, partnerships including Friends of the Earth and the Centre for Food Safety see the ability of local regions to set robust standards around foods including GMOs, synthetic biology and cloned animals is under threat. As the US regulation around the genetic engineering of plants, animals and microbes is quite light, the argument goes that the TTIP will open the door for such foods to enter the EU, bypassing current regulation and standards. Cloned animals, for example, are not tracked in the US as they are in the EU, so there would be few means of preventing them entering the food supply.