Don’t trade away the right to keep our food safe

Chinese imported frozen berries linked to a number of cases of hepatitis A in Victoria and NSW has led to a national call for stronger food safety regulation and country of origin labelling.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.59.01 pmHowever under the new China Free Trade Agreement and pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), this could be unfeasible. Friends of the Earth’s Fair Trade spokesperson, Sam Castro said “like other similar trade agreements the TPP could make it impossible to set higher standards on imported foods or labelling, because labelling regulation can be deemed a ‘barrier to trade’.”

“The Investor State Dispute Settlement process included in the China Free Trade Agreement enables foreign corporations with the ability to sue the government for legislation that may harm future profits. We know Philip Morris is currently suing the Australian government for our cigarette plain packaging legislation, the same could happen if the government decides to enact stronger food safety and labelling laws,” explained  Ms Castro.

“These trade agreements are a Trojan Horse that threaten our food safety and environment. Trade officials, whose primary objective is to increase trade and boost corporate profits, will have first say over future food safety rules. A trade agreement is not the place to decide about our food safety.”

“The TPP trade agreement is currently being negotiated in secret with 12 other countries, including the US, Chile and Malaysia.  We call on the federal government to release the text of the agreement so the public and health professionals can properly assess the impact it will have on health and safety standards. We have a right to know” said Ms Castro.

The European Union has recently committed to publicly releasing the text of a similar trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).Read Friends of the Earth’s analysis of the TTIP’s impact on Food Safety.… Read more >>

US force feeds GM crops to African nations, says new report

OHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, 23 February, 2015 – US agencies, funders such as the Gates Foundation, and agribusiness giant Monsanto are trying to force unwilling African nations to accept expensive and insufficiently tested Genetically Modified (GM) foods and crops, according to a new report released today. [1]

“The US, the world’s top producer of GM crops, is seeking new markets for American GM crops in Africa. The US administration’s strategy consists of assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans from the potential threats of GM crops,” said Haidee Swanby from the African Centre for Biosafety, which authored the report commissioned by Friends of the Earth International.

The new report also exposes how agribusiness giant Monsanto influences biosafety legislation in African countries, gains regulatory approval for its product, and clears the path for products such as GM maize (corn).


Frackman – anti-gas fracking film Feb 24

FRACKMAN – Mercury Cinema

Tuesday February 24, 8:30pm

“If you care about our country, see it!” – Alan Jones

“No Australian voter should miss this film”  Bob Brown

This is a film about the ordinary people caught up in a modern day multinational “gas rush” to secure and exploit coal seam gas. Accidental activist Dayne ‘Frackman’ Pratzky was building a simple home on his property, until the Gas company arrived, demanding to install wells on his property. So began his transformation from knockabout pig-shooter to passionate activist, and a David and Goliath battle against a $200 billion industry. Along the way he finds love, tragedy and triumph.

This special DocWeek preview session includes a post screening meet the filmmakers event with director Richard Todd and producer Trish Lake.

See you there!…

Movie: Climate change skeptics exposed 28 Feb

Climate change will impact the whole food growing industry with more droughts and floods. Merchants of Doubt is a new movie investigating the shadowy world of professional skeptics, whose services are paid for by corporations and other special interests to cast doubt and delay action on climate change. Profiles key climate skeptics, uncovering their credentials and motivations and shows how they navigate media and government to disseminate disinformation. $15/$10

hosted by Transition Films and Doctors for the Environment

Saturday 28 Feb 4pm Mercury Cinema Morphett St Adelaide… Read more >>

Foe Submission to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Terms of Reference

SA Premier Jay Weatherill recently announced a Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle and gave the public one week to make submissions into the terms of reference.

He says he is motivated by concerns over climate change and the state of SA’s economy.

The royal commission will look at uranium enrichment, nuclear power and a nuclear waste dump. Environment groups are calling for it to include issues with existing uranium mining, legacy waste sites, export markets and weapons proliferation as well as a close examination of the impact of a proposed dump on remote communities. We also call for a full economic analysis of nuclear power in relation to renewables.

A group of people who want to work together over the next year of the royal commission is forming. Meetings will be hosted by the Conservation Council at their new HQ 111 Franklin St Adelaide (the old bus station, next to the new bus station).  The group is currently meeting on Tuesdays, please contact Robyn for more information

FoE Adl submission to Nuclear Royal Commission terms of referenceRead more >>