4 Ways a Leaked TTIP Text Reveals Attempts to Undermine Environment and Health Protection Laws

Greenpeace Netherlands has obtained 248 pages of leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts, which were published on Monday 2 May at 11:00 CET. The documents unveil for the first time the US position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process.


The classified documents represent more than two-thirds of the overall TTIP text as of April, at the 13th round of TTIP negotiations in New York. They cover 13 chapters addressing issues ranging from telecommunications to regulatory cooperation, from pesticides, food and agriculture to trade barriers.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"610996","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"270","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"270"}}]]

Jorgo Riss, director of Greenpeace EU, said: "These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the centre of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health. We have known that the EU position was bad, now we see the US position is even worse. A compromise between the two would be unacceptable.”

Greenpeace identified four main issues of concern:

1. Long standing environmental protection is dropped

The “General Exceptions” rule, enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is absent from the text. This nearly 70-year-old rule allows nations to restrict trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health," or for "the conservation of exhaustible natural resources."             

2. No place for climate protection in TTIP

If the goals of the Paris Summit to keep temperatures increase under 1.5 degrees are to be met, trade should not be excluded from CO2 emissions reduction specifications. But nothing about climate protection can be found in the obtained texts.

3. Precautionary principle is forgotten

The US wants the EU to replace the EU’s hazard approach with ‘risk management’, disregarding the precautionary principle, which is enshrined in the EU Treaty but is never mentioned in the consolidated text. [The precautionary principle also covers consumer policy, European legislation concerning food and human, animal and plant health.]

4. Open door for corporate lobbying

The leaked documents suggest that both parties consider giving corporations much wider access and participation in decision making.

Jorgo Riss said: “The effects of TTIP would be initially subtle but ultimately devastating. It would lead to European laws being judged on their consequences for trade and investment – disregarding environmental protection and public health concerns.”

This article originally appeared on Greenpeace.org. Reprinted with permission.

[Editor's note: Greenpeace Netherlands received a confidential document that was possibly edited in order to identify the source of a leak. Greenpeace retyped the document removing modifications that could have allowed to trace the source.]

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.