The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) covers a huge range of issues and sectors, including food safety, genetically modified products, toxic chemicals, highly polluting fuels and data protection. The talks threaten to weaken or roll-back democratically agreed safeguards put in place to protect the environment and citizens – for the sake of corporate profits.
The talks are likely to favour safeguards for corporate investments over safeguards for citizens and the environment, allowing companies to seek compensation when government decisions affect their profits. This could benefit companies seeking to exploit natural resources through hazardous technologies whose activities may be affected by environmental or health regulations.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up