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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

#TruthInTrade Day 6: Trade Agreements Threaten Your Food Safety

Mar 24, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today continued his #TruthInTrade campaign to highlight the unintended consequences of free trade agreements.  Last week the campaign focused on concrete examples of how multinational corporations use legal advantages allowed by trade agreements to overturn laws protecting the environment and people.  This week the stories will focus on the potential threats trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), pose to food safety, environmental protection, jobs, and the economy.  More information about #TruthinTrade is available here.

TPP could allow seafood, beef or chicken products imported from Asia that don't even meet basic U.S. food safety standards on your dinner plate.  A recent Bloomberg story highlighted the disgusting conditions of imported seafood; including processed shrimp and fish fed with pig feces destined for American grocery stores and restaurants. Currently, the United States imports more than 100 million pounds of shrimp from Vietnam every year and the FDA only inspects about 3 percent of imported food. Trade agreements could increase imports of contaminated food, overwhelming already overworked food inspectors, and overturn regulations aimed at keeping the American food supply safe. 

“Americans should not have to wonder if their dinner sat in baskets covered with flies and was shipped in bacteria ridden ice before ending up on their plate,” said Representative Pocan. “No one wants to eat salmonella contaminated food.  Trade deals put everyone at risk by undermining important American food safety regulations and making it easier for filthy food to enter the United States. ”