In 2013, the United States and the European Union (EU) began negotiations to create the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), also known as the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA). The trade relationship across the Atlantic is already the number one economic relationship in the world, making up a third of all trade in goods and services and about half of global economic output. Both the United States and EU claim that a new trade agreement with the EU would enhance job creation and competitiveness by eliminating trade barriers and harmonising regulations — but the real winners would be big biotech and food companies, at the expense of consumers and the environment.
Corporate agribusinesses depend on favourable science to gain regulatory approval or market acceptance of products such as new animal drugs, and they depend on academic journals to deliver this science. To secure favourable scientific reviews, industry groups play an enormous role in the production of scientific literature, authoring journal articles, funding academic research and also serving as editors, sponsors or directors of scientific journals where much of their research is published.
Deep-pocketed corporations often have no counterpoint in the scientific literature. No group of scientists or science funders is, for example, aggressively investigating the safety or efficacy of new animal drugs, or examining alternatives. The influence that industry now wields over every aspect of the scientific discourse has allowed companies to commercialise potentially unsafe animal drugs with virtually no independent scrutiny.
Find out what needs to be done in the report, Corporate Control in Animal Science Research.