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Trans-Pacific Partnership Threat

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Saturday, 8 November 2014

Tags: Trade, GMOs

Tasmanian Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O'Connor today spoke in Hobart at the International Day of Action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and warned of the dangers to Tasmania from the TPP.

"With every trade deal you have to give something to get something but the TPP tips the balance very heavily in favour of foreign corporations and against the public interest," Ms O'Connor said.

"For Australia to be able to export a few more tonnes of coal or a few more cows, countries like the United States, at the behest of multinational corporations, want us to give up our sovereign right to make laws in the national interest.”

"Tasmania's moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is also potentially under threat from the TPP, giving a corporation like Monsanto the legal right to challenge it on the grounds that it affects their profits.”

"If, for example, Monsanto or any other biotech company with investments in Australia, chose to challenge our GMO moratorium under the TPP's Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, Tasmanian taxpayers could be left footing a hefty bill.”

"This is exactly what tobacco giant, Phillip Morris, tried to do when it challenged Australia's plain packaging laws because they affected Phillip Morris profits as they were intended to do, in order to save lives.”

"Affordable medicines are something Tasmanians take for granted. We have a reasonable expectation that even the poorest of us will be able to access them."

"The effects of the TPP will be felt down the line. Existing medicines will take longer to become generic, affordable brands. And worryingly, new classes of medicines that we are using to beat cancer will remain more expensive for longer." 

"Our health care system was designed to put the health of Australians before business interests. The TPP undermines that principle."

"This secret trade deal has huge potential to undermine our health care system, environmental laws and regulations that protect public health and  Tasmania's GE-free brand.”

"It's hard to understand how any responsible national government could so willingly bend over backwards to favour multinational corporations and trade away our sovereign right to make laws and regulations in the public interest as the Abbott Government is doing behind closed doors," Ms O'Connor said.