Canadian scientist and former Health Canada regulator Dr. Shiv Chopra knows better than anyone that not all science is equal. And now, the 81-year-old is in for the fight of his life as he joins the groundswell of voices calling on governments to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
The public is invited to a forum about local food production, food safety and food quality on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Rotary Hall of the Filberg Centre.
Sponsored by Comox Valley Council of Canadians and GE Free Comox Valley, this public forum is part of a national tour by Dr. Shiv Chopra and will include Jan Slomp, president of the National Farmers Union.
The government of Canada is preparing to sign the TPP, the largest multilateral trade agreement that we have entered into. Negotiated in secret, analysts have only been able to examine the public text since November. It is becoming increasingly clear that, although billed as a trade agreement, the TPP is designed to limit the authority of national governments over their own economies, and to expand the power of multinational corporations.
Both Chopra and Slomp are concerned that the TPP threatens our current health and safety protections and has the potential to hurt the quality of Canadian food. In particular, the deal allows foreign milk products to cross the border, with no provisions to monitor or stop bovine growth hormone (BGH), legal in the United States, from entering our milk supply. There are myriad other ways that we may be required to “harmonize” our food and health standards with those of our trading partners. Current standards may become simply unenforceable.
Slomp and the NFU are articulating an approach to trade that is based on principles of support for the economic, cultural and democratic systems people have built in each country.
When asked why embark on a tour, Dr. Chopra said, “There is no value in pointing out a problem without offering a solution. Our goal is to inform Canadians about the public health impacts of TPP and demand that both our federal and provincial governments protect the public interest.”
Join us for this informative public forum on Thursday, April 7, 7 p.m. in the Rotary Hall of the Florence Filberg Center, 411 Anderton Ave., Courtenay.