A controversial trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States risks an unacceptable “race to the bottom” on environmental standards, MPs have warned.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could weaken European and UK regulation in areas including genetically modified crops, chemicals in cosmetics and meat treated with growth hormones, as a result of efforts to align standards between the US, where rules are laxer, and the EU.
A report by the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee also suggested it could make it harder to strengthen rules on issues such as animal welfare or climate change – particularly if the deal allows US companies to sue governments for bringing in new regulations that harm their business.
The Government maintains it would give a huge boost to business, creating jobs, cutting red tape and opening up new markets.
Committee chairwoman Joan Walley said: “Europe must retain its right to regulate. That needs to be embedded in any treaty text.”