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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One Year After Deadly Texas Chemical Leak, Has Safety Improved?

One year ago, a toxic chemical leak at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas killed four workers, including grandmother Crystle Wise. A massive leak of 23,000 pounds of methyl mercaptan erupted in the plant’s pesticide manufacturing building in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, 2014, and Wise and other co-workers died when they were overcome trying to stop the leak.

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EPA Tackles Highly Toxic Pesticide in Major Advance for Farming Areas in the U.S.

After years of pressure by public health and environmental advocates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally proposing to greatly restrict a dangerous, neurotoxic pesticide called chlorpyrifos. This chemical causes a variety of developmental problems and lowers IQs. The pesticide is especially dangerous to children and developing fetuses.

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Worker Safety Before Profits

During one of his early morning shifts, Jose Melena stepped into a 35-foot-long oven and began loading pallets of canned tuna at a Bumble Bee Foods plant. Not realizing Melena was inside, fellow employees shut the machine door behind him and turned on the oven. With temperatures reaching about 270 degrees, he was cooked to death.

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It’s Time to Hold Major Corporate Executives Personally Accountable for Criminal Behavior

General Motors (GM) withheld information on defective ignition switches, Takata knowingly produced defective airbags, Toyota concealed information regarding unexpected vehicle acceleration, and Volkswagen (VW) deliberately violated clean air laws by undermining their vehicle pollution emission controls.  

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Recent Industrial Accidents in China and United States Underscore the Need for Urgent Action on Chemical Facility Safety

On Aug. 12, an industrial accident in Tianjin, China killed at least 114 people – including 21 firefighters – and injured roughly 700 more residents. Another 70 people, including 64 firefighters and six policemen, are still listed as “missing.” It is just the most recent example of the catastrophes that can occur when countries don't have adequate safety requirements for industrial facilities.

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Debunking the Texas Miracle

In a Forbes opinion piece last week Christi Craddick, one of Texas’ three elected members of the Railroad Commission, the public entity responsible for regulating the oil and gas industries, asked that presidential candidates spell out their national energy plan – and suggested that Texas would serve as a good model.

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Two Years Ago, President Obama Directed Federal Agencies to Prevent Chemical Disasters. Are We Any Safer Now?

In April 2013, an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas killed 15 people, injured more than 200, and levelled nearby homes and schools. President Obama visited West in the aftermath and promised to improve our nation’s chemical safety laws. On Aug. 1, 2013, he issued an executive order directing federal agencies to revise their chemical safety policies to ensure that a West-type tragedy never happens again.

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Groups Say EPA Can Require the Pesticide Industry to Disclose All Hazardous Ingredients to Safeguard Our Health

A new lawsuit is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require pesticide companies to disclose all of the hazardous ingredients in each product. The case, filed by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, points out that the EPA already has the authority to require industry to disclose hazardous pesticide additives, even if they're not designated as the main, "active" ingredients in a product.

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Once Again, Benefits of Public Standards and Safeguards Far Outweigh Costs

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently issued an annual report to Congress that finds the benefits of major standards and safeguards far outweigh their costs. It serves as yet another indicator of the value of public protections and the positive impacts they have on Americans' everyday lives.

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