Leaked Documents Raise Concerns Over Chemical Dangers of TTIP

by Vins
Published: Updated:

Documents leaked in October 2014 reveal that the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal potentially threatens public safety by reducing the ability of the European Union (EU) to enforce safety requirements on dangerous carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals. As Nadia Prupis reports for Common Dreams, this agreement would establish a cooperative front on the part of the two powers to create common regulations under the banner of decreasing trade barriers.

This represents a potential big win for the American chemical industry as an opportunity to decrease EU regulations to US levels, placing corporate interests over public health. The EU has responded to this leak with a statement promising that the deal will not lower levels of environmental protection. However, many environmentalists and public health specialists do not agree. As Prupis reports, for example, Daniel Rosenberg, a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, observes, “It is clear that the chemical industry’s agenda is to delay or derail public efforts to establish protections from toxic chemicals to the greatest extent possible on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The farther along TTIP negotiations get, the more convoluted they become, and this is just the most recent in a series of concerns that linger over the negotiation of this agreement. Many activists have been and grow continually more skeptical of its relative merits. As Prupis puts it, “Numerous civil society groups have repeatedly sounded the alarm against the TTIP deal.”

The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek both published good analyses of this story, but, beyond this, it has received no coverage in American corporate media. There are more stories in European news, but the concerns raised still attract little interest. According to the Newsweek story, “Since the European public consultation on EDCs [endocrine disrupting chemicals] opened last month, only five people have logged in to give their opinion.” All in all, though there have been periodic publications, the interest that an issue of this magnitude should merit is absent. There has been a lull in interest of this story as the days passed from when the documents were leaked.

Source: Nadia Prupis, “Leaked TTIP Documents Reveal Powerful Chemical Industry Wins” CommonDreams, October 4, 2014, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/10/01/leaked-ttip-documents-reveal-powerful-chemical-industry-wins.

Student Researcher: Christopher Martin and Dan Gordon (Pomona College)

Faculty Reviewer: Andy Lee Roth (Pomona College)