GMOs And World Trade Agreements’ Legalese.

TPP Petition
TPP Petition (Photo credit: cool revolution)

Posted December 16, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

What happens if one of the nations considering signing on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes to a point where the people of that nation votes to ban GMOs? If my understanding is correct, corporations which are heavily involved in GMO products like Monsanto can take a case to a private, special, secret tribunal and sue that nation’s government for loss of “future, expected profits” from GMO sales, and in the process punishing financially the people who have democratically arrived at a decision to protect their citizens and environment.

This seems like a possible scenario with the legalese written into trade agreements such as the TPP and another proposed between the European Union (EU) and the United States.

Could one congressman or senator in the USA please demand that the full text of the TPP be published so that the American people, as well as the people of every potential signatory nation, can examine the legalese that they will be living under if the deal is consumated? The same request goes for the proposed EU – USA trade agreement. Surely this is a reasonable request. Political leaders of the governments involved stand and speak about all aspects of democracy and “we the people”, while at the same time keeping life-changing information away from citizens and even the people’s representatives in government – obviously an undemocratic way of doing the “people’s business”.

With respect to the TPP, evidently there has been an army of hundreds of corporate lawyers working on the language of the agreement for years, in secret without government oversight. The people have no idea what is in the language save for “leaks” provided by Wikileaks, a situation that on its face shouts volumes about the motivations and agendas of those pushing for its passage. If the agreement is so beneficial, then why aren’t citizens and their representatives able to read it?

Do the people whose agenda is being served by these agreements believe that men and women of the world will just allow these legal documents to become crammed down their throats without pushback?

My guess is that the secrecy surrounding the language of these trade agreements has to do with the knowledge of those behind them that, if the deals became exposed to the light of day and available for study by the people, they would be seen for what they are – ultimate power grabs. Through the use of lawyers’ injections of legalistic language, the “fix is in” and once the nations sign on, they are bound to abide by the legalese at risk of harsh financial judgments in private tribunals, without any option of appeal.

If this becomes read by citizens in any of the potential TPP nations, you are probably aware of the proposal and concerned about the consequences of passage. Many people around the world are working to defeat the TPP and it looks like there are developments which point toward significant problems in passing it. Not all men and women trained in law are corporate lawyers, and those who wish to read the entire text of TPP should have that opportunity. Once again, this is a reasonable, rational request which has so far been ignored, calling into question the beneficial aspects that those who are advocating for its passage – along with EU/USA agreement – claim.

The overwhelming level of consequence for many millions of people from many regions emanating from the TPP and EU/USA trade agreements, makes it necessary that intense study, discussion, and debate occur before any kind of “fast track” passage is even considered. Trade agreements of this magnitude have to be placed on a “slow track”, with the widest dissemination of the total, actual legal language in them through published, accessible to the people, means.

One could see how TPP and EU/USA major trade agreements have been engineered to maintain a world status-quo which an increasingly larger percentage of the human race has grown disillusioned with. Although virtually unreported in mainstream media corporation news broadcasts, the world’s people are becoming aware of the negative realities of unjust military actions, corruption in the international banking industry, possible restriction of free communication over the internet, deleterious health effects of genetically modified organisms, continuance of private ownership of national central banks, as well as a number of other problematic issues discovered through the free flow of communication with computers.

One can see how those who have worries about people demanding actions to change the status-quo are using the massive trade agreements to cement the status-quo in place, in the process eliminating the power of people to demand significant positive change in the world. It is not a stretch to see that there are perhaps a few thousand very wealthy and powerful people on this Earth trying to maintain a privileged position, working to tamp down the billions of people who have become concerned about the actions and consequences coming from the few thousands.

A good example which illustrates the tension between the few and the rest of humanity is genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMOs are essentially products which epitomize an onslaught against human freedom. The major weapon in this onslaught is what are called “terminator” seeds, which commit suicide after one season, eliminating any ability of farmers to practice the ages-old tradition of seed-saving for the following season’s planting. Although there are other valid reasons to ban GMOs from the Earth, this one reason – this product alone –  is enough.

One need not be a genetic scientist to see that terminator seed technology should never have been approved, sold, and planted to begin with. Simply looking at the plants in the environment and proliferation through being carried by the wind, birds, etc. should have raised red flags of enormous size, with the risks of cross-species contamination more than enough to know that the technology should never be allowed into the natural world.

Millions of men and women have protested against GMOs in recent years, without any response from political leaders, or any analysis coming from mainstream media. A ballot issue in California calling for labeling of GMO foods was narrowly defeated following a multi-million dollar expenditure from corporations against labeling laws. In the past few weeks Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has called for GMO labeling, which will become law as soon as his state becomes joined in agreement by a number of bordering states.

The major trade agreements are a tool to cement status-quo laws in nations which have not yet passed laws for either labeling or outright banishment. If these nations then pass laws for labeling or banning, the corporations like Monsanto and others can sue in the private, non-governmental tribunals for the loss of “expected profits”. Other similar measures, in many arenas such as banking, the  internet, pharmaceuticals, etc. are probably written into these agreements, however non-corporate lawyers and average citizens have no way to know because the agreements have not been published in their entirety.

****

There are some researchers of interest who I try to stay current with. After looking to find recent interviews of William Engdahl, I found the following one with a fellow from Australia, Leon Pittard, from Mr. Pittard’s YouTube channel made in the last few days. Mr. Engdahl is an independent researcher, writer, and lecturer who has studied geopolitics and issues of importance for 30 years. In this talk he speaks about the origins of today’s GMOs while connecting the issue with currently debated trade agreements. He has written a book on GMOs titled “Seeds of Destruction”.

An informative interview with 40 minutes of solid communication about the history and continuing health-related risks of genetically modified organisms for humanity.

For more information visit williamengdahl.com.

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2 thoughts on “GMOs And World Trade Agreements’ Legalese.

  1. I watched a CSPAN program over the weekend about the TPP. It was hosted by a former Reagan Administration official, a labor union representative, and an analyst from the Public Citizen organization. They detailed the history of U.S. trade agreements, the creation of “fast track” authority under Nixon, and how Clinton, Bush, and Obama have greatly expanded these deals to the detriment of the American middle class.

    It was fascinating. The bottom line is that corporate power has usurped democratic governance on a global scale. However, they also pointed out that in the aftermath of NAFTA, TPP faces an uphill battle in Congress. Already, about 155 Democrats and 35 Republicans in the House oppose it. Also, the deal has yet to be completed because of disagreement among the participating nations. The U.S. and Japan are on one side, and the other countries have aligned against them.

    Like

    1. Robert,
      Yes, why even have a congress when the corporate lawyers can write all the laws? (Maybe they do?) Glad to hear there is opposition. Looks like GMOs were “fast-tracked” back in the 90’s. Never read his book, but David Korten used his title in a predictive way, “When Corporations Rule The World”.
      Thanks for the good news.
      Jerry

      Like

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