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Organic Consumers Association

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Secret Plans

The U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). It sounds so benign.

But this office, housed under U.S. government’s International Trade Commission, is hard at work gutting regulations intended to protect consumers and small-scale farmers.

Common Dreams reports:

This little-known council has the mission of promoting trade by “reducing, eliminating or preventing unnecessary regulatory differences” between Canada and the United States. Since the RCC’s inception, agribusiness—including factory-farmed livestock producers, the feed industry, and chemical and pesticide manufacturers and linked transportation businesses—has had a seat at the regulatory cooperation table. Their focus, without exception, has been advocating the scaling back and even elimination of important safety protections in both countries.

What’s on the RCC’s hit list? To name a few . . .

• Eliminate border inspections of imported meat

• Reduce safety testing of containers used to transport pesticides and other hazardous chemicals

• Use obscure words instead of plain language to hide information from consumers

International trade agreements have always favored corporate agribusiness over consumers and small, independent farmers and food businesses. But this is just blatant.

Read ‘Agribusiness's Secretive Plans to Unravel Food Safety and Worker Protections’

TAKE ACTION: Appalled? Email the public affairs office of the International Trade Administration publicaffairs@trade.gov. Tell the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Gilbert B. Kaplan, what you think of the ‘Cooperation Council’s’ secret plans.

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