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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Dollar Stores Found Selling Toys, Earrings, and More Containing Lead and Other Toxins

Target and Walmart made headlines in 2013 when both companies pledged to phase-out certain hazardous chemicals from their supply chains, good news for the millions of Americans who rely on these stores for household and personal care products. But discount retailers known as "dollar stores" have yet to follow suit, putting the communities they serve at risk of toxic chemical exposures.

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Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Bill Promotes Big Industry Interests in the Guise of Helping Small Business

Under the cynical guise of helping small businesses, on Jan. 27, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up, and the House will soon likely pass, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (SBRFIA, H.R. 527).

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UPDATE: Three Reasons the REINS Act Must Be Stopped (Again)

If passed, the REINS Act would require congressional approval of all major rules, potentially endangering the most important safeguards to our health, safety, environment, and economy.

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Unwrapping Cadmium? Parents Worry About Toxic Toys

Only two more shopping days before Christmas. Parents have enough to worry about between trying to find the hottest toys, watching their budgets, and fighting store crowds. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether they are exposing their children to toxins, but the absence of strong federal standards means they do.

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Lead and Mercury in Kids' Toys? A New York County Is Cracking Down on Dangerous Chemicals in Children's Products

UPDATE (Jan. 7, 2015): Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy signed the Toxic-Free Toys Act into law today, effectively banning seven toxic substances from children’s products sold in the county. This is a victory for the parents and advocacy organizations that fought to protect Albany County children from harmful substances linked to cancer, kidney damage, and cognitive impairment. Parents in Albany County will soon be able to purchase children’s products in the county with the peace of mind that they are not exposing their children to toxins.

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On Monday, New York’s Albany County legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would protect children from toxins in toys and other products. The Toxic-Free Toys Act bans certain dangerous chemicals from any children’s products sold in the county. The bill is an important step toward safeguarding children from toxins that affect development and cause other health problems.

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UPDATE: Freedom Industries President Faces Criminal Charges for West Virginia Chemical Leak

The FBI has filed criminal charges against Freedom Industries President Gary Southern for allegedly making false statements regarding January’s chemical spill into the Elk River. The FBI’s complaint charges Southern with bankruptcy fraud, making a false oath in a bankruptcy proceeding, and wire fraud. According to the complaint, “Shortly after the leak and discharge of MCHM into the Elk River was discovered on January 9, 2014, Southern engaged in a pattern of deceitful behavior, which included numerous false and/or fraudulent statements about his role at Freedom, his role in the sale of Freedom to Chemstream, and his knowledge about conditions at the Etowah Facility.” If Southern is found guilty on all counts, he could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

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Strawberry Fields Forever? California's Pesticide Addiction Harms Local Communities

If you've eaten strawberries recently, you can probably thank a California grower. Mild temperatures and an extended growing season mean that at least 80 percent of strawberries sold in the U.S. originate from the state. However, new research suggests that the tasty fruit comes with a heavy price for local communities because of the extensive use of harmful pesticides.   Those living near strawberry fields face higher risks of cancer and other health problems from exposure to the chemicals.

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Foul Fowl? Why Your Thanksgiving Turkey May Be Getting Riskier

As we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner in a couple of days, we might be worried about who gets the drumstick or whether our crazy uncle will dominate the conversation. But we’re probably not worrying about whether the turkey is safe to eat because we’ve had a robust food inspection system in place for over a hundred years. That might be changing – parts of our food inspection system may not be keeping up with the threats posed by our current food production system.

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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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