Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement Resources

The safety standards on which we rely daily for our food, medicines and cars. The energy and climate policies needed to save our planet. The new financial regulations designed to prevent banks from gambling with our money and creating another crisis. These are policies that should be determined in open, democratic venues where we have a say. But a group of the largest U.S. and European banks and corporations want to rewrite these safeguards behind closed doors. For over a decade, they have pushed for a new U.S. "trade" deal with Europe – the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), which corporate proponents have branded the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – a deal that would roll back consumer protections on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Mapping DuPont's Deadly Chemical Leak

On Saturday, Nov. 15, a toxic chemical leak at a DuPont manufacturing plant outside of Houston killed four workers and hospitalized another, serving as another troubling example of the need for stronger chemical safety standards. The chemical involved in the leak, methyl mercaptan, can cause eye and lung irritation and can be fatal at high levels. Numerous other U.S. facilities use and store this chemical, including those featured in a new interactive map by the Center for Effective Government.

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New Report: Big Business Gaming the Rules Against Public Protections and Small Businesses

On Nov. 12, the Center for Effective Government released a new report finding that trade associations and their big business members are hijacking small business advisory panels that are part of the regulatory process. The panels are intended for small businesses to provide direct, early input to federal agencies about forthcoming health, safety, environmental, and consumer financial protections, but we found that small business voices are being drowned out.

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EPA’s War on Toxic Pollution

A central theme of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) recent re-election campaign was attacking the Obama administration’s so-called “war on coal.” This framing was an attempt to stigmatize the critically important efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce the impacts on public health and the environment of burning coal in power plants and heavy industry. In fact, EPA is conducting a war on the health impacts caused by pollution and industrial waste, using science and technology as its weapons.

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Gaming the Rules: How Big Business Hijacks the Small Business Review Process to Weaken Public Protections

Small businesses are heroic and iconic figures in the American story of opportunity. The vast majority of private enterprises in the U.S. today employ fewer than 100 workers, and many workers aspire to own their own business. So when small businesses argued that the federal rulemaking process should pay attention to their special needs, policymakers listened. By law, three federal agencies – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – are required to convene a small business review panel any time they plan to issue a rule that could have a significant economic impact on small businesses. To determine who was serving on these panels and whether they were, in fact, representing and protecting the interests of small businesses, staff at the Center for Effective Government examined 20 Small Business Advocacy Review panels convened between 1998 and 2012.

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Gaming the Rules: Industry Interference Shuts Out Small Business Voices, Delays and Weakens Public Protections

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2014—A new report released today by the Center for Effective Government finds that trade associations and their big business members are shutting genuine small business voices out of the federal rulemaking process and weakening some crucial public protections.

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Perilous Powder: Asbestos in Cosmetics Causes Lung Cancer

When people think of asbestos, they may envision trained workers in hazmat suits removing asbestos insulation from older buildings. What many people don’t realize is that asbestos is still used in a variety of consumer products ranging from clothing to floor tiles. A recent peer-reviewed study found asbestos in one brand of talcum powder and linked its use to a woman’s death from lung cancer.

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New Study Finds Life-Threatening Formaldehyde Levels at Fracking Sites

People living near fracking sites have reported health problems for years, with symptoms ranging from respiratory ailments to birth defects. But because air and water quality are often not monitored near fracking sites, surprisingly little is known about the overall public health impacts of the gas drilling process.

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New Interactive Maps Show Chemical Risks in Legislative Districts

As we near the midterm elections, voters are considering many important issues, from the economy to fair wages to health care. But have you considered whether children in your legislative district are safe from chemical disasters? New interactive maps released by the Center for Effective Government show the percentage of schoolchildren at risk of chemical catastrophes in congressional districts and state legislative districts. The results are alarming.

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Women's Environmental Group Asks Proctor & Gamble to "Detox the (Always) Box"

Independent test results released this month found a slew of cancer-causing and neurotoxic chemicals in Always® brand maxi pads. Consumers want to know when everyday items like these contain toxic substances, but current federal standards do not require disclosure of chemicals used in these products. This lack of information is leaving many women in the dark about potential toxic exposures and the health risks they bring.

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