Do you remember TTIP, the proposed trade deal between the US and the EU? Its negotiations were stopped by the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets in the capitals of Europe. 3.3 million signatures were collected against it. Greenpeace played a key role in the resistance against TTIP, by publishing the leaked  texts in May 2016. It caused many European politicians to harden their stance, leading to a breakdown in the trade talks.

 © Eric De Mildt / GreenpeaceProtest ahead of Vote on EU-Canada Trade Deal at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, Feb. 2017

But guess what: while TTIP is now in cold storage CETA, the proposed EU-Canada trade and investment deal is not. It has been ratified by the European parliament, although it has many of the characteristics that made TTIP infamous: special tribunals for multinationals, special access to decision-makers for multinationals, and a lack of environmental safeguards.

Canada has weaker food safety standards than the EU. They have an agricultural economy more heavily dependent on chemical inputs and GMOs. In three new briefing papers, Greenpeace Netherlands and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade policy (IATP) warn that the trade deal gives North American corporations tools to weaken European standards regarding growth hormones, chemical washes, GMOs, animal cloning, and Country of Origin labelling. What they have not achieved so far, via the WTO, they can now start undermining via CETA.

Today is the first day of CETA’s ‘provisional application’, when over 90 percent of the deal enters into force. This is before national and regional parliaments of EU member states have even approved it. The provisional application includes lower tariffs, expanded trade and ‘regulatory cooperation’, which gives corporations privileged access to decision makers.

Through CETA, the EU will become even more embroiled with the Canadian (North American) meat industry. The lack of mandatory US labelling laws on cloning, combined with the frequent trade of live cattle, pigs, genetic material and other animal products between the US and Canada, make the presence of cloned material and cloned offspring in the Canadian meat supply highly likely. This undermines the de facto ban on animal cloning in the EU.

Since last year, GM Salmon is allowed in Canada. About 4.5 tonnes of GM salmon fillets have already been sold in Canada – without labelling. This means that Canadians are not able to distinguish between GM salmon and normal salmon. CETA will enable the salmon exports from Canada to the EU to grow, by lowering tariffs and expanding quota. How will the EU guarantee that no GM Salmon enters it market?

The battle against CETA is far from over. About 30 regional and national parliaments in Europe will decide over the coming months whether to ratify CETA or not. Please get in touch with your MPs: EU member state parliaments should vote no to CETA!

Kees Kodde is a trade campaigner with Greenpeace Netherlands