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  • The Peru Free Trade Agreement should not be supported because:

     

    -         Consumption of factory farmed animal products will vastly increase. Currently, roughly half of the animal products consumed by Peruvians are produced on rural family farms, grown as a sideline by farmers whose primary business is growing corn and rise.  Import tarriffs on US produced crops and animal products keep prices on US commodities high in Peru, encouraging Peruvians to buy the locally-created products.  Peru's family farms use traditional agricultural methods, as opposed to the intensive-confinement factory farms that dominate US agriculture. However, the Peru Free Trade Agreement will eliminate Peru's tarriffs on US imports.  Thanks to the lower production cost associated with factory farming of animals and US-style industrial crop growing in tandem with US government subsidies for agribusiness, US imports in Peru will be far cheaper than locally produced foods.  This will drive Peru's family farmers out of business, and with no one left producing family farmed meat products, consumption will shift to cheap, factory farmed US commodities.  While Global Justice for Animals encourages consumers everywhere to shift to an animal-free diet and does not in any way endorse the concept of "humane meat", we also recognize that a shift towards consumption of factory farmed products is BAD NEWS for farmed animals. 
     
    - Peru has a terrible record for environmental protection. Logging by by U.S. companies (often done illegally), mining, and oil drilling have resulted in habitat destruction in irreplaceable rainforests, the decline of wildlife populations in Peru.  Mining has already polluted streams, killing fish and amphibians. Industrial noise drives wildlife into unprotected areas to be hunted by miners and wildlife traffickers.  Oil companies like Occidental Petroleum have devastated the Peruvian Amazon, polluting land and water and poisoning wildlife and indigenous people.   But rather than fixing this problem, investor protection provisions in the agreement will give corporations the right to sue the Peruvian government in international tribunals for lost profits on investments if Peru enforces it's domestic environmental laws.  These investor rights can also be applied to agreements made before the passage of the agreement, which allow companies to challenge previous decisions to prohibit development in protected areas. 
     
     - Substandard environmental provisions written into the agreement only require the enforcement of preexisting environmental laws and the protection of just a few token wildlife and plant species.  This is of little help when each species depends on an entire ecosystem for survival, and most environmental organizations consider Peruvian and Panamanian laws insufficient anyway.  The Peru Free Trade Agreements state that proposed changes must be voluntary, flexible and incentive-based.
     
    The Peru Free Trade Agreement is considered even worse than the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, which the US signed in July 2005, despite the opposition of over 100 animal organizations.  It has the power to forever destroy unique habitats and endemic animal species in some of the most biologically diverse areas of the world as well as expand the consumption of factory-farmed animals. 

     

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    Global Justice for Animals and the Environment is a project of:
    Wetlands Activism Collective
    Phone: (718) 218-4523
    Fax: (501) 633-34761
    activism @ wetlands-preserve.org