The biggest free trade deal in history

The biggest free trade deal in history is being negotiated now. There are plenty of catchy little acronyms when you talk about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA).

Dry politics, perhaps, but it’s worth thinking about the TTIP because we’re all living on this Earth. Karl Mathiesen at the Guardian invited discussion a few weeks ago, asking What will the TTIP mean for the environment? He got discussion!

I’ll pick out one of the comments. Somebody linked to an article in which Meabh McMahon at Global Meat News told us that the TTIP could end up ‘smaller and more modest than hoped’ due to ‘intractable issues’ about hormone-treated meat and genetic modification (genetic engineering), livestock cloning and other biotechnology.

[Edit] Fancy another acronym? The TTIP is also known as the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). Here’s TAFTA TTIP Watch offering ‘All Information & Perspectives on TAFTA & TTIP at a Glance.’

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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9 Responses to The biggest free trade deal in history

  1. EqFe says:

    That’s good news for you guys, and maybe for us, if the USDA emphasizes the importance of agricultural exports.

    • argylesock says:

      I hope so. And – perhaps vain optimism – that USDA takes note of how well we Europeans are doing with our agric rules.

      • EqFe says:

        Generally speaking, many believe the regulators are in bed with big business, and I’m sure there is a lot of that. When it comes to agriculture, I think that the bias has been to product cheap food. Monsanto’s crap doesn’t produce more food, but it does produce the same amount of food cheaply, and the regulators are ignoring any potential health effects.

        • argylesock says:

          Interesting. Do you know a good summary of how Monsanto products produce food more cheaply?

          • EqFe says:

            It’s all down to the cost of farm labor and fuel. The whole financial benefit of roundup ready is that the farmer has to put far less time and money into cultivation to reduce weeds. With the yield of roundup ready and convention seed being roughly the same, the net profit is increased by the amount of reduced costs less the cost of seed and roundup.

            Given the resistense to roundup that some weeds are developing, this looks like a short term advantage to me.

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