European Parliament’s TTIP Vote A Step Backward for Public Health

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2015

Today, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution to clarify the Parliament’s expectations and redlines with regard to the ongoing Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The resolution adopted calls for negotiation to stop on “REACH and its implementation.” However, the resolution does not adequately address the threat to public health and environmental laws in the EU posed by TTIP, and it ignores a growing chorus of voices that have raised concerns about this risk.

In June, the German Environment Agency warned that the “improper design of regulatory cooperation in TTIP carries potentially significant environmental risks.” In April, the European Parliament’s own Environment, Public Health and Food Committee (ENVI) called on the Commission to ensure that TTIP does not lead to a lowering of existing environmental, health and food safety standards, including toxic chemical standards.

The EU’s current proposal on regulatory cooperation sets out a road map to derail the implementation of existing legislation, and undermine the ability of EU Member States to set standards of protection at a level that the public – not foreign governments and corporations – deems appropriate. The non-binding recommendations of the European Parliament, although welcome in several respects, continue to leave several risks to public health and the environment from TTIP.

In recent months, it has become abundantly clear that industry and foreign governments have used (and continue to use) TTIP negotiations to slow, weaken, or stop decisions to protect public health in the EU. For example, the US Government and industry have used the prospect of TTIP to delay stronger action on toxic chemicals in food and consumer products for years.

As negotiations resume in Brussels next week, it is essential that the Commission urgently address the recommendations of the European Parliament and a growing concern that TTIP can lead to a weakening of public health protections. This requires a decisive shift away from unsubstantiated assurances to this effect, and towards a true reflection of these concerns within the proposals and negotiating text.

Correction: An earlier version of this release has been corrected to more accurately reflect the positive aspects of the resolution adopted by Members of the European Parliament.


Baskut Tuncak,, (+001) 206.669.7203