According to a statement of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, "the presence of banned antibiotics and herbicides in shrimp imports reflects an intentional decision to use these harmful chemicals. Their presence is the product of a calculation to reduce the costs of producing aquaculture shrimp at the risk of the health and safety of American consumers."
The U.S. International Trade Commission projects that U.S. imports of Peruvian food will increase if TPP is implemented. The increase in beef imports is expected to be substantial.
Peru also has a major export fishing sector. FDA inspectors have rejected Peru's seafood for numerous reasons including filth, adulteration, misbranding and various dangerous food-borne pathogens.
"Equivalence determinations" is a devious bit of language in these free-trade agreements. Those words mean requiring the United States to permit imports of meat and poultry products that meet only the safety standards of the exporting country, not the standards of the importing country, i.e., the U.S.
The United States used to be known as the world's bread basket, and surely nothing is so important as a country's ability to feed its own people. We became a net-food importer for the first time in 2005.
The United States now imports $65 billion in food annually, and the vast majority is unexamined and untested. The FDA estimates that it conducts border inspections on only .6 of 1 percent of these foods at the border (vegetables, fruit, seafood, grains, dairy, animal feed).
The FDA inspects only 1.93 percent of seafood imports, and the inspection is mostly only visual. Only 11 percent of imported beef, pork and chicken is inspected at our border by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Our COOL law, or Country of Origin Labeling, passed in 2002, requires country-of-origin labeling on beef, pork, lamb, fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and peanuts, but enforcement has been delayed again and again by intense industry lobbying. A study by Consumer Reports says that 92 percent of U.S. consumers support this law.
However, our busybody nonfriends in the World Trade Organization ruled that this law violates free trade and must be repealed. In April, the WTO and communist China blasted the U.S. for our noncompliance with WTO rulings, and Antigua and China launched criticism of the U.S. for failing to obey WTO's demand that we repeal our law against Internet gambling.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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