Glaringly false reassurances about the repercussions of the EU-US free trade agreement

European Parliament. Committee on International Trade meeting. Discussion with Kare De Gucht European Commissioner, responsible for international trade (first from right) and Pawel Zalewski (EPP, PL). (EP Audiovisual Services, 07/11/2013).

European Parliament. Committee on International Trade meeting. Discussion with Kare De Gucht European Commissioner, responsible for international trade (first from right) and Pawel Zalewski (EPP, PL). (EP Audiovisual Services, 07/11/2013).

Yesterday, Karel De Gucht, the EU Trade Commissioner delivered a speech in Düsseldorf, to reassure his German audience that the EU-US negotiations to conclude a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (Free Trade Agreement), will not lead to abandonment of EU health rules that ban genetically modified food and beef with hormones nor will it give the banks a free hand to speculate with people’s savings. He answered those concerns as it follows: “That would indeed be unacceptable. But here I stand, and cannot but say: The EU is not going to do any of these things as a result of TTIP”.

The Belgian Commissioner though, intentionally ‘forgot’ to tell his audience that only some weeks ago, on 13 December 2013 The General Court of the European Union has annulled the Commission’s decisions, concerning authorisation to place the genetically modified potato Amflora on the market. It’s  out of the question that he was not aware of the case. De Gucht also ‘forgot’ to mention that it was a German company, BASF Plant Science GmbH, which had asked the Swedish authorities, through a subsidiary, to authorise the placing of this genetically modified potato Amflora on the market, with a view to its cultivation and use for industrial purposes. The case was finally brought to the European judges, who decided that “the Commission significantly failed to fulfil its procedural obligations, so the General Court has annulled the contested decisions”.

The Commission can and does fail

It’s more than evident that the Commission, in this case, hasn’t applied to the letter the relevant procedures, foreseen in relation to the cultivation and the marketing of GMOS. Furthermore, the case of the Amphora potato is not an isolated incident though. In the case of the ‘Pioneer 1507’ maize seed, imports have already been freed for human and animal feed uses, but the cultivation of it is always prohibited. This is what the Commission wanted to change – to release the possibility of this genetically modified maize cultivation on European soil. This time it’s the giant American company Monsanto, a world leader in GMOs, which has been trying for years to introduce its ‘Pioneer 1507’ maize seeds for cultivation in Europe.
On this occasion (7 November 2013) the European Sting writer Suzan A. Kane stressed that, “Apart from the environmental and health issues around this affair, the basic economic characteristic of all genetically modified seeds for sowing is that farmers cannot keep a part of the crop to use it next year as seeds for sowing… Consequently, farmers would have to keep buying their seeds for sowing year after year from this US firm Monsanto. In the long-term all production will depend on Monsanto”.

What about the banks?

Now let’s pass to the next reassurance De Gucht gave to the German attendees of his speech, that the Commission wouldn’t “give the banks a free hand to speculate with people’s savings”. Of course banks and financial markets do not come within his responsibilities. So he could be forgiven for not knowing what every citizen in Europe knows, while making promises. However, he could have asked his colleague Michel Barnier, but it’s more than certain that such issues are being discussed in the College of Commissioners in great depth. Consequently, De Gucht cannot be forgiven.

The truth is that not only the American banks are free to usurp the deposits of their customers and use them for their risky bets (proprietary trading), but their European counterparts are excelling in that. EU banks have accumulated ‘assets’ 3.5 times the European GDP, while their American peers’ balance sheet is only 1.8 times the US GDP. If the EU banks are to reduce their exposure to US levels they have to shed ‘assets’ of €22.1 trillion, given that today their assets are €42.9 trillion. Of course the core issue is that those bank ‘assets’ contain super risky bets financed by other people’s money. In short, the EU banks are much worse students of prudency, than their American counterparts. As a result, the reassurances given by De Gucht that the Commission will protect depositors from the insatiable appetite of the banks, lacks any substance to say the least.

The Belgian Commissioner said a lot more about the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. However, his basic affirmations that the European citizens, after the application of the TTIP will not run the danger of eating more GMOs and beef with hormones or being usurped by banks, could be even taken as a joke, if not as straightforward deceipt. European citizens are already eating lots of GMOs. Who is that stupid to believe that after applying this TTIP with the Americans, including the powerful giant Mosanto, less GMOs will be circulating in the EU? The same is true for the beef with hormones and the protection from the banking vultures.

 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

Sexual education in a school at the Brazilian Amazon

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

3 reasons why data is not the new oil – and why this matters to India

Mexico needs a new strategy to boost growth, fight poverty and improve well-being for all

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Clean Mobility: Commission tables proposal on car emissions testing in real driving conditions

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

‘Humiliation was the worst’; Holocaust survivor at UN, asks world to act with ‘empathy and compassion’

UN chief appeals to G7 leaders for ‘strong commitment’ and political will to tackle climate emergency

Why strive for Industry 4.0

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

Young health workforce – a core of effective primary healthcare?

‘€1 million’ fines for rescue boats prompts UN concern for future sea operations

The COVID-19 vaccine’s challenges

European financial values on the rise

UN programme to help spare millions from child marriage, extended to 2023

3 ways to improve diversity and inclusion in your organization

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Coronavirus: Eight macro-financial assistance programmes agreed to support enlargement and neighbourhood partners

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year?

India is now the world’s 5th largest economy

Parliament declares the European Union an ‘‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’’

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms key for peaceful polls in DRC – UN mission chief

Brexit effect: Public opinion survey shows that EU is more appreciated than ever

Afghanistan probe: ‘at least 60 civilians’ killed after US military airstrikes on alleged drug labs

Amid global ‘learning crisis’, Parliaments can ensure adequate resources for education, says UN Assembly President

Long-term EU budget: MEPs slam cuts to culture and education

‘End the ongoing atrocities’ against people with albinism in Malawi, say UN rights experts

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

Challenges facing the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission opens infringement procedures against 24 Member States for not transposing new EU telecom rules

3 reasons we should all care about biodiversity

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

Coronavirus spread now a global emergency declares World Health Organization

China Unlimited – The chinese tourism in Lisbon

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

UN experts decry torture of Rakhine men and boys held incommunicado by Myanmar’s military

‘Champion for multilateralism’ readies to hand over UN General Assembly gavel

UN recognises role of sport in achieving sustainable development

Commission presents review of EU economic governance and launches debate on its future

Inclusion, empowerment and equality, must be ‘at the heart of our efforts’ to ensure sustainable development, says UN chief

EU Security Union Strategy: connecting the dots in a new security ecosystem

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

The EU moulds a new compromise for growth and financial sustainability

More Stings?

Advertising

Comments

  1. And you have the next great novel. First do you have to know who the
    competition is offering to the customers. Finally, weaknesses of tthe company such as overview,
    mission, and what you are good risk as it pertain to small business owners.
    This article also provides some other important tips and suggestions as to what you re tryinng
    to sell yoursedlf and your idea to potential investors about the
    soundness of your business plan. Also, we can gain mor business, more jobs and depends
    on european union youth in action ourselves.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s