Network promotes deregulation and a lowering of food safety standards in the wake of Brexit
A shady network of hard-right think-tanks and politicians with ties to Donald Trump and the UK Tory Party are agitating to sell the British public chlorinated chicken, hormone-fed beef and GM foods, says an article in Insurge Intelligence.
* A trans-Atlantic network of Conservative and Libertarian think tanks were caught creating "shadow trade deals" which deregulate in favour of food and drug lobbies during Brexit.
* The network now sees an opportunity to enact significant changes during Brexit, aided by the duplicity of business interests in public discourse.
* Brexiteer and Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan addressed a packed room in New York on November 8 as he delivered the Toast to Freedom for the Atlas Network: "Gallus Gallus Domesticus….the chicken should be the symbol of the global freedom movement."
* Surrounded by a room full of "freedom champions", Hannan used his speech to attack EU regulations which prevent US food staples such as chlorinated chicken, hormone-fed beef and GM foods from sale to the UK.
* Hannan wants to use Brexit as a deregulatory mechanism: the core tenet of the "freedom movement".
* Connected to 450 free market think tanks across the globe, the Atlas Network is a powerful libertarian group funded by, amongst others, Exxon Mobil and the Koch Foundation (belonging to the billionaire Koch brothers).
* Its overarching goal is "defeating socialism at every level", according to SourceWatch, through the export of its business-friendly rhetoric and government-limiting ambition worldwide.
* The London-based Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) is the "grand-daddy" think tank of the Atlas Network.
* The Atlas Network is a powerful intellectual network that pushes forward an inherent value in market liberalisation which demonises regulations (including safety standards, liability, worker and consumer protection) as burdensome red tape that obstructs economic freedom.
* Prominent think tank pushers in the US, now members of the Atlas Network, include the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), who led a successful, ultra-moneyed counter attack by the business community on the public interest era that came before.
* The movement senses new opportunities for an era of favourable policies under Trump, Brexit and a potential US-UK Trade deal. Cheap chicken is symbolic of the potential gains.
* But there is a real cost to cheap chicken for all, that none of these think tanks and politicians are admitting. And the US broiler industry today is an example of the ideology’s most rabid excesses.
* The Precautionary Principle – regarded by many as the foundation of all regulatory protection for environment and food safety — is at risk from this network's lobbying and could be reversed in the UK.
* The opportunity has attracted the attention of, among others, American seed giant Monsanto. The company is eyeing up the opportunity to grow GM crops in Britain after Brexit.
* Until now, Monsanto has had a relatively small presence in the UK, and GM food has taken a backseat to headlines about chlorinated chicken. But the emergence of GM would constitute some of the biggest changes we could see when it comes to food.
* Just when the UK may be introduced to such products, the industry is undergoing unprecedented corporate consolidation, with a handful of companies wielding global power over the future of food.
* The ground is being prepared and public opinion shaped. Open Democracy reported that Syngenta had signed a major commercial deal with ESI Media through which the chemical giant ran a series of public "debates" and articles on the "future of food" through London’s free paper — the Evening Standard, edited by ex-Chancellor George Osborne.
* Billion dollar legal challenges, orchestrated attacks on scientists by the company and controversy over the prospect of GM foods in the UK were all omitted from the coverage — all part of a "growing practice inside ESI Media which deliberately blurs the line between advertising and editorial content," Open Democracy found.
* Syngenta and Monsanto are among the companies currently engaged in intensive lobbying during Brexit.
* GMO companies have long battled to prevent consumers from knowing what they are buying.
* How can we have the choice Daniel Hannan speaks of if we don’t know what we are eating?
Source: Insurge Intelligence https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-tory-trump-plan-to-kill-food-safety-with-brexit-chicken-6faa9fbff0c1