Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:04 PM
Eugene (19,880 posts)
EU, U.S. to start free trade talks
EU, U.S. to start free trade talks
By Philip Blenkinsop and Ethan Bilby
BRUSSELS | Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:57pm EST
(Reuters) - The United States and European Union aim to start negotiating a vast Transatlantic free trade pact by June, though the plan confirmed on Wednesday faces many hurdles before it might help revive the world's top two economies.
A deal would be the most ambitious since the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, embracing half of world output and a third of all trade. It reflects impatience with the lack of a new global agreement to cut tariffs and ease commerce.
But after a year of preparatory discussions between Brussels and Washington, major differences remain, such as EU resistance to importing U.S. foodstuffs that are genetically modified.
"This is potentially a very big deal," said Michael Froman, White House deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, a day after President Barack Obama endorsed talks with the 27-nation bloc in his State of the Union address.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/13/us-eu-us-trade-idUSBRE91C0OC20130213
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EU, U.S. to start free trade talks (Original post)
Response to Eugene (Original post)
Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:48 PM
HumansAndResources (229 posts)
1. The GMO Angle of This 'Free-Trade' deal
If I recall correctly, both the the Bush-II and Obama White House Kitchens are 100% non-GMO Organic. Yet, our "food safety czar" is a Monanto-tool, and President Obama has expressed frustration at being unable to promote more GMO in Africa. Now they want to push that junk on Europe with this trade-deal.
All this, to spite <a href="http://responsibletechnology.org/docs/gm-crops-do-not-increase-yields.pdf"> conclusive evidence </a> that GMOs do not have increased yield over non-GMOs; the only significant difference being that GMO crops require the use of Monsanto-branded chemicals (under contract), and payment each year to Monsanto for seed, versus farmers planting harvested-seed royalty-free forever.
The history of our 'food safety czar' is telling (and this is only the undoubtedly Monsanto-edited <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_R._Taylor">version from Wikipedia</a> (note: King & Spalding is a law firm that represents Monsanto):
(Michael) Taylor is featured in the documentaries The Future of Food and The World According to Monsanto as a pertinent example of revolving door since he is a lawyer who has spent the last few decades moving between Monsanto and the FDA and USDA.
In 1976, after passing the bar examination, Taylor became a staff attorney for the FDA, where he was executive assistant to the Commissioner.
On July 17, 1991, Michael Taylor left King & Spalding, returning to the FDA to fill the newly created post of Deputy Commissioner for Policy. During that time, he signed the Federal Register notice stating that milk from cows treated with BGH did not have to be labeled as such.
His name is not on the FDA’s 1992 policy statement on genetically engineered plant foods, but he is said to have been a co-author. Both of these documents grew out of, and fall within, the regulatory policy framework that was developed starting in the mid 1980s under the Reagan and Bush Administrations to ensure safety of the public and to ensure the continuing development of the fledgling biotechnology industry without overly burdensome regulation.
Between 1994 and 1996 he moved to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he was Administrator of the Food Safety & Inspection Service.
Between 1996 and 2000, after briefly returning to King & Spalding, he then returned to Monsanto to become Vice President for Public Policy.
On July 7, 2009, Taylor once again returned to government as Senior Advisor to the FDA Commissioner.
And on January 13, 2010, he was appointed (by President Obama) to another newly created post at the FDA, this time as Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
Last parenthetical mine.