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CETA – the biggest trade deal to be signed in over two decades – got the green light from EU parliament [last month],” says celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. But what does that mean for farmers and consumers?

On Jamie’s Food Revolution website, some arguments for and against CETA are presented. On the one hand, as with many trade deals, businesses can sue governments over newly created laws they deem will inhibit their ability to compete. Many feel this will cause health and environmental protections to become weakened. There is also a concern over toxins, where laws regulating what a dangerous substance is could differ, as well as the differences in determining whether or not a substance is dangerous.

“The EU’s REACH law has already raised Canada’s ire,” says Oliver’s blog. According to The Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), “the EU law requires companies to generate safety information about a chemical before it’s marketed. But, according to CIEL, industry and the Canadian government consider compliance with this law to be an undue expense and a barrier to trade.”

Others are worried about the lower cost of imported junk and processed food, which could have a negative impact on Europeans’ health, productivity in the workforce and start a race to the bottom.

With 99 percent of tariffs gone, however, “Supporters say CETA will increase Canada-EU trade by 20 percent and boost the EU economy by 12 billion euro and Canada’s by 12 billion CND annually. Large parts of the deal will enter into force in spring 2017.”

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