Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Other Questions

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

3:35 pm

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Anti-Austerity Alliance) | Oireachtas source

I again ask whether the Minister is concerned that the precautionary principle is clearly under threat in negotiations and the European side does not seem to be defending it. I make the point that regulatory coherence is often presented as some very technical thing. Regulatory coherence is precisely about whether we have GM foods - they are regulations. When it comes to mutual recognition or coherence, is the direction going to be upwards in terms of protections or downwards? It is a negotiation that is driven on both sides by big business agendas, which precisely want a bad deal from the point of view of ordinary people and a good deal for them.

Let us take the example of cosmetics. In the EU there are 1,328 prohibited substances in cosmetics; in the US there are 11. Mutual recognition of each other's regulations in regard to cosmetics will mean we can have all of those 1,300-plus substances that are deemed illegal entering into the market. The point about co-operation going forward is privileging the position of so-called experts who will be coming from big business in the writing of future regulations as opposed to it being the right of legislators to decide on regulations.


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