A dairy farmer group representing organizations in 14 E.U. countries is not happy with current trade talks that would align European and U.S. trade and investment. 

The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was, in part, launched during President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union speech. 

Those negotiating the TTIP held their fifth round of talks in Washington, D.C., May 19-23. The talks expect to cover cheese names, food safety, and other trade barriers that slow economic progress (Commentary from American Farm Bureau Federation). 

EMB asks negotiations to cease

As the fifth session came to a close, the European Milk Board (EMB), which is not a government group, released a statement calling the agreement “a severe threat to the EU – economically, ecologically and socially.” The statement continued, “We therefore call for the negotiations to cease immediately.”

The EMB was most critical of the agreement being “open season” for healthy, safe, and sustainable food. Additional criticism warned that agriculture would generally move outside the E.U., with remaining production concentrated in a few areas. The EMB also said the agreement would be unfair competition, “…created by the feared lowering of product and safety standards.”

The agreement passed easily from the European Parliament, with 460 out of 593 Members of European Parliament voting in favor. 

The European Milk Board also asked farmers to blockade the E.U. Summit in December 2013, and staged a protest in Germany in June 2013.

Source: European Milk Board