Do trade deals threaten the EU’s precautionary approach to products that might pose health risks?

Do trade deals threaten the EU’s precautionary approach to products that might pose health risks?

EU trade agreements never lower European health and safety standards. The recent Trade for All strategy reiterates the EU’s longstanding position that where science is unclear about whether something is dangerous for humans or the environment, regulators must act to limit the risk.

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This “precautionary principle” – enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, international case law, national legislation and the French constitution – can never be weakened by trade agreements.

When the EU negotiates trade deals with countries that allow hormone-treated beef and genetically modified food, there is never any question of these goods being allowed into the EU.

The recent agreement with Canada defends both governments’ right to regulate in the public interest as they see fit. And it reaffirms the EU’s commitment to take precautionary measures on a wide range of health and environmental risks.

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