It seems that Australian health, environment and public welfare regulation, including plain tobacco packaging legislation, will be open for a challenge from largely US-based corporations revealed Wikileaks yesterday. This will all happen if a new deal goes through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
How would it affect food safety? The new deal would loosen the reigns that the Australian government currently has on the food safety regulations we have in place. Since the deal is to make Australia more closely knit with our neighbours (the United States of America, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), strict laws might need to be re-evaluated if the trade agreement goes through in the next few months.
The new deal will allow foreign investors to take action against the Australian government and things are already looking eerie for our current tight legislation. One example is that the Philip Morris tobacco company is currently using the ISDS provisions of Australia’s investment agreement with Hong Kong to sue the Australian government for billions of dollars over Australia’s plain packaging legislation.
If this is the direction food safety is going to take, many more food safety scandals like the frozen berries might occur in our country with the freedom importers have in our economy…
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