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

UN ‘determined to lead by example’ on disability rights: Guterres

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Sri Lanka PM: This is how I will make my country rich by 2025

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Why is black plastic packaging so hard to recycle?

These 4 leaders are working to improve integration in Southeast Asia

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

New EU energy labels applicable from 1 March 2021

How to harness the energy of social innovators for an inclusive recovery

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

EU Covid-19 Certificate: a European solution for free testing is needed

Outbreak of COVID-19: The third wave and the people

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

A better answer to the ventilator shortage as the pandemic rages on

New Mozambique storm rips off roofs, brings lashing rain as aid response kicks in

The hidden downside to ocean data and how to make it more sustainable

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

Parliament supports European Green Deal and pushes for even higher ambitions

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

GSMA Reveals Global Partners for MWC21 Barelona

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more integrated Europe

Universal access to energy is a major challenge for the Arab world. Here’s why

Commission and Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU underline importance of the European Health Data Space

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Deal agreed to protect consumers against misleading and unfair practices

Security Council urged to help spare Syrians from ‘devastation’

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

Link between conflict and hunger worldwide, ‘all too persistent and deadly’, says new UN report

How a ‘fourth-sector economic strategy’ can help us build a better future for all

Amidst ‘high political tension’, UN chief appeals to G20 leaders for stronger commitment to climate action, economic cooperation

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

Antitrust: Commission provides guidance on allowing limited cooperation among businesses, especially for critical hospital medicines during the coronavirus outbreak

Gender Disparity in Medicine: Why and How Do We Close the Gap?

More than 100,000 people have recovered from COVID-19

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

Europe led by Germany seems vulnerable to Trump’s threats

Sustainable finance: Commission welcomes deal on an EU-wide classification system for sustainable investments (Taxonomy)

These are the 4 most likely scenarios for the future of energy

How do we go about improving mental health in the community and reducing suicide rates in the 15-29 age group?

Reception conditions for asylum-seekers agreed between MEPs and Council

Heart attacks and strokes are more common on high pollution days, data shows

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

6 ways China and the United States could jumpstart trade reforms

GSMA Announces New Speakers for Mobile 360 Series – MENA, in association with The European Sting

Employers hold too much power over information. Workers must claim their data rights

New citizenship law in India ‘fundamentally discriminatory’: UN human rights office

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

The fight for female medical leadership

EU-China relations under investigation?

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

Anti-Semitism ‘toxic to democracy’, UN expert warns, calling for better education

Beating cancer: Better protection of workers against cancer-causing chemicals

More Stings?

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