Trade Deals and Our Health

What's the deal for our health?

tppIn case you haven't heard, there are two trade deals being negotiated. One is the Transatlantic Trade Agreement and the other is the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement (TPP). These deals are being promoted by governments to the people as a means of facilitating trade and improving the economies of the countries involved.

While government is supposed to be transparent and serve the needs of people, these trade deals have been negotiated in total secrecy. Part way through the negotiations, some of the detail on these trade agreements was published on WikiLeaks and it became clear that ordinary citizens are dispensable.

As more information was released into the public domain, opinions on both sides of the fence became heated. Business insiders and corporations love the deals because it gives them unprecedented rights. But to the ordinary citizen, and especially those who are mindful of the deteriorating state of the world in terms of economics, climate change and social justice, they are vehemently opposed to these deals.

The business people who support these trade deals have a lot to gain. They will have access to new markets and they will be able to operate above and beyond the restrictive laws of any country.

Ordinary citizens will have fewer rights, those who value life and are concerned for the welfare of humanity and life on earth are appalled by the content of these trade deals because for the countries involved, it means they are surrendering their national sovereignty or autonomy to multinational corporations.

A 2 minute overview of the TPP

If we look at our recent history, after World War II life in western countries flourished and we saw the rise of a middle-class who were dependent on creativity and the production of things people needed, and life was good. After the 'new age' revolution of the 1960s, things slowly begin to change and we have arrived at the point where the global economy is broken beyond repair. Not only that, our environment is changing rapidly in large part to mankind's impact on the planet. The way we're going, all life on earth they be extinguished within the next hundred years.

Trade agreements go further than just trade

These trade agreements have a built-in or 'copyright' protection. This means that if a company in the USA owns the intellectual copyright for a product or an idea, no other country will be able to produce and market a similar product or idea.

A world divided

The business leaders of the world had been programmed to believe in the current economic model, but if humanity is going to survive beyond 2050, everyone will need to survive on 40% less of everything including water and the air we breathe.

The current business model is resource hungry, it is converting the materials found on this planet into consumer goods that have a very short lifespan. Most people know that our oceans are filled with billions of tonnes of garbage in addition to our enormous landfills.

In terms of health, what is referred to as allopathic medicine is all about treating the symptoms of a disease. This is done either by surgical removal of a diseased body part will by using chemistry to suppress and mask the symptoms of any disease.

The alternative model for life is that humanity must learn to live within its means and do what can to maintain the environment on which we are entirely dependent. Another was we had to adapt to our environment instead of raping the environment to meet our perceived needs as in the current business model.

The alternative view on health is that we should treat the symptoms of disease to make life comfortable, but at the same time find the cause of the disease and remove the root to effect a complete cure.

Trade agreements and our health

New Zealand's Prime Minister Mr John Key has publicly acknowledged that some medicines will become more expensive and it is written in these agreements that generic copies of medicines will become less available. So in terms of allopathic medicine, treatments will become more expensive.

When it comes to what is referred to as alternative or complementary medicine, corporations have been trying to get rid of this annoyance for a long time. The natural and holistic approach to human health has expanded or around the world with a success rate as good as the ability that allopathic medicine has to treat physical injury.

Natural medicine treats the cause of disease and despite its success, healthcare corporations want to get rid of it because it undermines their bottom line; i.e. profits. Modern healthcare is primarily about profits, in the USA when it patient arrives in hospital, they are unlikely to receive treatment unless they have insurance. This approach to health care is spreading around the world, the NHS in Britain, the public health care systems in New Zealand and Australia are being dismantled and privatised.

Prior to World War II, the infrastructure and assets of countries belonged to people, but now the ownership of infrastructure and national assets is being transferred to privately owned corporations. Corporations like Nestlé even want to privatise all water in the world and corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta are working hard to 'own' all food production so that in effect the people of the world have to find the means of paying for absolutely everything. In fact it would be no surprise to learn that some corporation was attempting to monetise the air we breathe!

Returning to the corporatisation of medicine. In Florida it has been alleged that corporations are executing natural health practitioners who become noted for their success, but Canada has another process underway.

December 31st, 2015. A secret consensus document was submitted by the College of Registered Psychotherapists (CRPO) and 5 other regulatory Colleges to Ontario’s Minister of Health Dr. Eric Hoskins.

It reveals how that under privatisation, a corporate or other institution can gain exclusive rights to an aspect of healthcare to such a degree that they can use a country's legal processes to force other healthcare professionals to either join and pay tribute to the association or stop working within the field.

For the average person this means that under the TPP,  there will be fewer choices in healthcare. It may well mean for instance that under the new regulations, anyone using a practise like yoga to affect their health will be doing something illegal.

Similarly when it comes to food production, laws are already in place in countries like New Zealand aimed at preventing people from producing their own food or sharing the food they grow with their friends and neighbours.

Under these new trade agreements, this really will be the end of the world as we once knew it. It will accelerate the current drift of the middle class towards poverty and a world as reflected in the recent movies 'the hunger games'.

Médecins Sans Frontières


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