Investor rights to sue would harm rural environments and public health

This blog by AFTINET Convenor, Dr Patricia Ranald, on investor disputes and rural public health was published on the Crikey website on January 25, 2013. It counters the views expressed by some cattle farmers’ organisations. They want speedy access for their exports and are lobbying for the Australian government to agree to investor rights to sue governments (ISDS) in the Korean FTA.

This would be mistaken and shortsighted, because ISDS would enable challenges to many policies that benefit rural communities. For example, US companies are suing Canada over bans on hydraulic fracking and patent laws which make available cheaper generic medicines.

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