Quantcast
Health

Leaked TTIP Documents Expose Chemical Industry's Toxic Agenda

report published Monday by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and ClientEarth shows how a leaked proposal from chemical lobbying groups could damage future protective legislation on toxic chemicals.

The leaked proposals would have a particularly damaging effect on legislation concerning the restriction of endocrine disrupting chemicals, which have been known to interfere with people's hormonal systems. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The documents, drafted by the American Chemistry Council and the European Chemical Industry Council, were injected into last December's Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations—an action that exposes the extent of the chemical industry meddling into secretive and ongoing U.S.-EU trade talks. 

“This proposal illustrates two huge and interrelated problems with TTIP,” said Baskut Tuncak, staff attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law. "The privileged position of industry to craft language in the trade agreement without public input, and the unlimited potential of TTIP to affect the ability of countries to regulate on toxic chemicals, energy and climate change, food and agriculture and other critical issues.”

The chilling effect of chemical industry interference with prospective TTIP regulations could include: slowing down the implementation of precautionary decisions on toxic chemicals, undermining democratic decision making and stifling the innovation of safer alternatives.

For years the U.S. government and the chemical industry have complained about protective EU chemical laws, characterizing them as trade obstacles, with some industry groups even calling them the most restrictive trade barriers in the transatlantic deal.

Given these perspectives, it would appear the major aim of the TTIP is to minimize what it calls technical barriers to trade, and its actions could weaken the introduction of vital laws designed to protect people and the environment. 

The newly published CIEL report states:

The joint proposal by the American Chemistry Council and the European Chemical Industry Council seeks to use TTIP as a mechanism to “address the potential non-tariff barriers that can arise from discordant regulatory measures.” While this may appear to be a reasonable aim on its surface, closer study of the proposal strongly suggests different motivations—to exploit regulatory differences between the two parties to slow regulatory developments at all levels, prevent the regulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals and obstruct efforts to promote substitution of all harmful substances with safer alternatives.

Industry’s suggestion that its proposed “improvements” purport to involve no changes in the underlying statutory or regulatory requirements in either jurisdiction are, at best, wildly implausible and, at worst, deeply disingenuous.

“The overriding theme of the proposals is secrecy,” said Vito Buonsante, ClientEarth Llwyer. “The industry wants to restrict the transparency of information, which is essential if people are to make choices about what they expose themselves to. They also want to undermine the democratic process by putting decision-making in the hands of industry dominated committees.”

The report also shows that the leaked proposals would have a particularly damaging effect on legislation concerning the restriction of endocrine disrupting chemicals, which have been known to interfere with people's hormonal systems.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are found in everyday products such as sunscreens, deodorants and children's toys.

According to economic estimates used by the European Commission, the chemicals sector would be the second biggest beneficiary if certain laws were removed through TTIP.

Visit EcoWatch's NEWS page for more related news on this topic. 

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
www.facebook.com

Car Pollution Is Killing Coho Salmon

The grisly video above shows a coho salmon struggling to survive in polluted stormwater runoff on the Duwamish River in Washington. This contaminated water—filled with oil from cars, pesticides, dirt and debris—can kill this particular species of Pacific salmon in hours, according to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, which posted the clip on Oct. 21.

Sadly, it appears that this fish is one of many coho salmon in the Puget Sound Basin that have died, and will continue to die, from this man-made tragedy.

Keep reading... Show less
A tiger known as Tony spent his life in a cage at a Louisiana truck stop. Tony died last week. Janusz Sobolewski / Flickr

The Tragic Tale of Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

By Stephen Wells

For more than six years, the Animal Legal Defense Fund fought tirelessly to save a tiger named Tony from a cage in the parking lot of a Louisiana truck stop. Sadly, we received news last week that Tony had died of kidney failure after spending 16 years confined to his cage, living and dying as a roadside attraction. Tony's plight is a microcosm of the problems with our legal system, a system that treats sentient beings as property and affords disproportionate political influence to their captors and abusers.

Tony was born into captivity, sentenced from birth to a life of exploitation, a gimmick used by his owner Michael Sandlin to sell gasoline at the Tiger Truck Stop. It doesn't take a degree in veterinary medicine to know that a truck stop is no place for a tiger. But veterinarians and animal behaviorists weighed in emphatically on Tony's behalf. Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a doctor of veterinary medicine with decades of experience with captive large cats, personally visited Tony and concluded that he was "exploited to the detriment of his welfare."

Keep reading... Show less

'Landmark Decision' Casts Youth as Official Intervenors in Pipeline Case

By Frank Jossi

In what is regarded as an unusual step, a group of 13 young people have joined together to become court sanctioned intervenors as they fight a proposed Enbridge Energy pipeline through northern Minnesota.

Intervenors are sanctioned by the state Public Utilities Commission to represent parties in contested cases. They are generally lawyers and experts hired by energy firms, clean energy organizations, environmental groups, governmental agencies and an occasional citizen or two.

Keep reading... Show less
Renewable Energy
The Masdar Solar Hub in the United Arab Emirates is a state-of-the art solar testing and R&D hub for photovoltaic and solar thermal technology. Masdar

Solar Power Forecast: Record-Low Costs Expected to Keep Plummeting as Technology Improves

The already-plummeting costs of installing solar power could fall an additional 60 percent over the next decade, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said Monday.

IRENA director general Adnan Amin told Reuters that the organization expects an additional 80 to 90 GW of solar capacity will be added worldwide each year for the next five to six years, and that improvements in technology, including batteries, will help drive down costs.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Scott Pruitt. Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Report: EPA Hires 12 More Bodyguards for Pruitt, Costing $2M Annually for Full Security Team

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has been noted for taking unusual steps to operate with extreme caution at the job—including the installation of a $25,000 soundproof communications booth and contravening a bi-partisan EPA transparency practice of keeping his schedule secret.

Now, CNN reports, the EPA is expanding Pruitt's security detail with an additional 12 agents, meaning his total security fleet stands at 30 bodyguards. This will cost the department $2 million a year in salaries alone and does not include training, equipment or travel.

Keep reading... Show less
Surfrider Foundation / Twitter

Offshore Oil Drilling May Be Coming to a Coastline Near You

By Pete Stauffer

It's nearly impossible to convince certain people, most notably leaders of our federal administration, that bold action is needed on climate change, but recent events have certainly made a compelling case.

Three major hurricanes have battered U.S. coasts in recent months, impacting the lives of millions of people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Although no single storm event can be blamed directly on climate change, scientific experts agree that the warming climate and ocean waters contribute to the frequency and scale of hurricanes—putting the residents, natural resources and economic security of coastal communities at elevated risk. This makes the Trump administration's proposal to expand offshore oil drilling off U.S. coasts all the more dubious.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Taken on Oct. 11 in Barrio Maní, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Cathy Mazak

'We Are Not OK': A First-Hand Account of Hurricane Maria

By Cathy Mazak

I'm so happy to be able to communicate with you again. As many of you know, I live in western Puerto Rico. In this post I want to tell you a little about my family's experience with Maria, and how you can help Puerto Rico.

On Thursday Sept. 21, when the sun came up, I looked out our front door at a wintery landscape. There was not one leaf on one tree in all the tropical forest that surrounds our property. Instead, the walls of my house were plastered with one-inch-by-one-inch pieces of leaves. It was as if they had been stripped off the trees, chopped in a food processor, and coated onto our house with a pressure washer.

Keep reading... Show less
Shutterstock

12 Global Cities Commit to Create Green and Healthy Streets By 2030

On Monday, the mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle, Auckland and Cape Town committed to a series of ambitious targets to make their cities greener, healthier and more prosperous. By signing the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration, the pioneering city leaders pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030. The policies are designed to fight air pollution, improve the quality of life for all citizens and help tackle the global threat of climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox