|Last year, an estimated 150,000 sea turtles were killed in nets.|
|Will a foreign trade panel decide to overturn U.S. law and condemn endangered species to extinction?|
Are those faceless bureaucrats nobody elected to run the secretive World Trade Organization so eager to promote global commercialism that they have taken it upon themselves to overrule the American voter and erase a key U.S. environmental law?
Never before has the United States allowed an outside power to dictate its statutes. Never before have we suspended our sovereignty to appease something so shadowy as a W.T.O. "dispute panel" closed to all public input and devoid of any accountability.
What's at stake? Whether America and other countries are allowed to set the standard for the way imports are produced. In this case, it's shrimp caught in nets which needlessly kill an estimated 150,000 endangered sea turtles each year--slaughter avoided if the nets are equipped with simple, cheap "turtle excluder" devices mandated by federal law.
Unwilling to equip their nets, some shrimp-exporting countries claim the U.S. Endangered Species Act is an illegal "trade barrier" and want the Act suspended. One of the nations complaining, Pakistan, is better known for exploiting child labor than for shrimp exports. Perhaps it's testing the W.T.O. to see if our child labor laws are also "unfair."
Why should governments continue to support an institution that threatens democratic values and environmental protection? Aren't these more important than the pursuit of international trade?
The people of the earth have the right to set the highest standard. Why are we suddenly letting a bunch of bureaucrats in Geneva take that away?
|Only shrimp and prawns with this mark are certified Turtle-Safe(TM). Look for it where you dine or shop.|
|Protest now -- in U.S.A. call 1-800-859-SAVE|
|The Sea Turtle Restoration Project|
c/o Earth Island Institute
300 Broadway, Suite 28
San Francisco, CA 94133
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