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

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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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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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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The Need for Speed: $15 Billion Cost of Foodborne Illness Underscores Urgent FDA Action

Preventable foodborne diseases cause thousands of illnesses and deaths in the United States every year. Coupled with this pain and suffering, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently estimated that foodborne illnesses cost the American public more than $15 billion annually.

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Poisoned Peanuts: Verdict Sends Strong Message to Food Company Executives

The guilty verdicts handed down on Sept. 19 in the unprecedented federal criminal case against senior officials of the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) should send a strong message to food company executives – you can and will be held criminally responsible for deliberately risking the health and safety of the American public for the sake of profits.

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