Leaked document reveals US-EU trade agreement threatens public health, food safety | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

A draft chapter of the U.S-EU trade agreement leaked today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reveals public health and food safety could be at risk, according to an accompanying analysis. The leaked chapter concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues—those surrounding food safety and animal and plant health—in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated. Only TTIP negotiators and security cleared advisors, mostly corporate representatives, can read and comment on draft negotiating texts. – See more at: http://www.iatp.org/documents/leaked-document-reveals-us-eu-trade-agreement-threatens-public-health-food-safety#sthash.F41OfaZY.dpuf

Source: www.iatp.org

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Whose Century Is It?: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Food and the “21st-Century Trade Agreement”

In the final year of the George W. Bush presidency, the U.S. entered into negotiations to establish a gargantuan new trade deal. The negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently involve 12 countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—together comprising 40 percent of the world economy and a third of global trade.1 In pro-TPP rhetoric, the deal is marketed as a “21st-century trade agreement.”2 But the deal isn’t as futuristic as its boosters want you to believe; rather, it’s a massive double down on the strategies and philosophies of NAFTA and other 20th-century free trade agreements. And like those earlier deals, TPP has the potential to impact agriculture and food systems on a large scale. There isn’t a single TPP chapter on agriculture in TPP; rather, issues impacting food and agriculture are scattered throughout the deal. With that in mind, here are the issues that characterize the TPP so far: – See more at: http://www.iatp.org/documents/whose-century-is-it-the-trans-pacific-partnership-food-and-the-%E2%80%9C21st-century-trade-agreeme#sthash.yoYDYHae.dpuf

Source: www.iatp.org

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Tar sands, trade rules and the gutting of human rights for corporate profit | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

A new report released today from IATP takes an in-depth look at how tar sands have developed from an unconventional, inefficient energy source to the spotlight of the corporate agenda as conventional oil supplies dwindle. Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights follows the development of energy policy from NAFTA up to current free trade negotiations to illustrate that while energy sources evolve, one trend remains constant: The protection of corporate profits at the expense of human rights, sovereignty and the environment. With new free trade agreements in negotiation, the time for action is here: The public needs a seat at the negotiating table. – See more at: http://www.iatp.org/blog/201408/tar-sands-trade-rules-and-the-gutting-of-human-rights-for-corporate-profit#sthash.MUJTLqg2.dpuf

Source: www.iatp.org

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OpEdNews Article: Article: The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria

Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed “Bomb Assad!” campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad — the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years.

Source: www.opednews.com

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South Africa and the Changing Politics of Labour: The Demise of COSATU

The two biggest signifiers of the state of the labour movement in South Africa in 2014 are, on the one hand, a terminal crisis within what is still, formally, the biggest trade union centre — the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), aligned to the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), and, on the other, the emergence of new workplace militancies by workers, notably the national strike wave in the second half of 2013.

Source: www.socialistproject.ca

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Constitutional Crisis: Of What and for Whom?

If the publicly expressed opinions of many opposition politicians, lawyers, academics, journalists and political commentators are to be believed then South Africa has already had several constitutional crises and there are more hovering on the horizon. Most of these supposed constitutional crises have certainly involved a range of attitudes, behaviour and activities that are of genuine and serious concern in any democracy. However, they are more representative of classic institutional and political battles in a young democracy. They also represent the shenanigans and interests of political and economic elites with the vast majority of citizens being relegated to bystanders. As such, they cannot be labelled as real constitutional crises.

Source: sacsis.org.za

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Can South Africas Courts Help the Fight for Social Justice?

The view that courts should decide what government policy should be is not only anti-democratic because it wants unelected judges to dictate to elected politicians. It also removes the most important weapon that poor people have – their ability to act to change the world. The first task of a court, which takes social and economic rights seriously, is to empower people to claim rights themselves. The missionary zeal of those who want the court to decide what poor people should get is not only patronising – it is sure to set the fight against poverty back.

Source: sacsis.org.za

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