Brussels, 12 January 2016. The European Parliament Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee adopted the amended opinion suggesting giving consent to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.
In the words of MEP Bart Staes who drafted the opinion, though, EU and Canada have very different views when it comes to health and environmental matters, food safety and animal welfare.
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) has already expressed its deep concerns regarding CETA in its latest publication ‘The Unhealthy Side Effects of CETA’ which identifies 12 ways in which CETA could undermine good health -including opening the door for businesses to challenge public health laws, limiting policy choices for Services of General Interest (social, healthcare, education, water), promoting tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and ignoring the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance.
“The Committee has decided not to follow the progressive line marked by the Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) Committee and to address citizens’ concerns.” commented Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, Policy Coordinator for Healthy Trade, EPHA. “Obtaining a better deal for health and consumers is still possible, but the opportunities are beginning to thin out.” he added.
The outcome is a non-binding opinion to the lead committee on International Trade (INTA) which will vote on 24th January on its own opinion. Finally, the Plenary Session of the European Parliament will have the final word on CETA later in February.