Letter: Concerned about democracy

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I, too, like Brian Bruce (Mercury, August 29), am concerned about our democracy if these behind-closed-doors negotiations, between the EU and US, result in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being agreed.

The lack of information and discussion in the Press and Media is alarming!

Both the European Ombudsman and the Commission President have expressed concern; the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy warn ‘that public health and food safety could be at risk’.

Free trade is fine, but within the document is a section that allows Companies to sue Governments if their democratic decisions lead to a loss of profits. An example of this - Philip Morris, the tobacco giant are challenging the Australian Government about their decision to use plain cigarette packaging because it threatens their profits. Could our Government be sued by GM interested food companies because the UK citizens decide to reject Genetically Modified foodstuffs? Will Governments lose their power to make independent decisions, their sovereignty? One of the aims of TTIP is to have common global standards for commodities being traded. But European standards are very different from those of the US.

Would standard harmonisation lead to a race to the bottom? Do we want our chicken washed in chlorine solution? Do we want our meat injected with growth hormones? If we democratically decide to keep our NHS safe from privatisation by the back door, shouldn’t the will of the people be final?

I repeat, I am very concerned about our future and our democracy.

Val Harvey

Garratt Road,