Have you come across TTIP yet and ignored it because it sounds confusing or boring? To do so could be a disaster.
What is the TTIP?
TTIP stands for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and for a long time the contents of the proposed agreement have been kept secret from most of us.
In essence, TTIP is a free trade agreement that plans to standardise food and food production between Europe and the US. Many people think this will be a calamity for Europe’s farmers and small food producers as most are ¹unable to compete with the enormous US agriculture sector who have lower production standards than we do in Europe.
The following video explains TTIP simply:
What can we do about TTIP?
There are many reasons to be alarmed about the proposed TTIP, several of which ²Oliver Moore has written about for ARC 2020 that include corporate influences during negotiations, lack of transparency and dubious jurisdiction. However, the mounting pressure from citizens is beginning to work. People are standing up for democracy and asking questions.
One of the first things we can do about TTIP is to stay informed. There are several groups who are campaigning to halt the negotiations including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Stop Tipp.org and TTIP.ie in Ireland and all give detailed information why the proposed TTIP is a major concern. Politicians will soon be knocking on doors looking for votes; maybe now is a good time to ask them about TTIP.
A petition has already been handed over to the EU Commissioner for Trade containing more than 3,300,000 signatures of concerned citizens, but if you haven’t already done so, you can add your name calling on the European Parliament to stop the negotiations. If you’re on Facebook, follow a page such as Stop TTIP and stay abreast about what’s going on.
If you’re worried about your food sources and would like to learn more about growing your own food organically at home or in an allotment or community garden, I’ll be running a series of four grow your own workshops here at Greenside Up HQ in County Carlow starting in March; you can find details here.
The important thing is that we should avoid doing nothing at all. Our food sources matter, our soil matters, our wildlife matters and it seems that we have to shout louder and louder to protect them all.
Last year I was passed this thought at the beginning of an An Gairdin Beo committee meeting; I discovered it again this morning and it prompted this article.
Please act now before it’s too late.