Chlorinated Chickens for Consumers Photo: Global Justice, UK

UK would be ‘insane’ letting in chlorinated chickens ─Farmers

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

As a cogent measure aimed at ensuring food safety, farming leaders in the United Kingdom (UK) have said it would be ‘insane’ to sign a trade deal that allows the import of foods that are illegal to produce in the country, such as chlorinated chicken, BBC report has said.

Ms. Minette Batters, President of National Farmers Union (NFU), stated that allowing these imports would be “morally bankrupt”.

Thus, the NFU has called for rules on minimum standards for imports to be made into law.

Downing Street (Office of the British Prime Minister) said food standards would be protected in any trade deal.

Ms. Batters, at the NFU’s annual conference Tuesday, February 25, said: “This isn’t just about chlorinated chicken. This is about a wider principle.

“We must not tie the hands of British farmers to the highest rung of the standards ladder while waving through food imports which may not even reach the bottom rung.

“To sign up to a trade deal which results in opening our ports, shelves and fridges to foods which would be illegal to produce here would not only be morally bankrupt, it would be the work of the insane,” she stated.

Ms. Batters called for rules in the Agriculture Bill, which is currently going at the Parliament, to ensure that foods that would be illegal to produce here will not be imported.

In countries such as the United States (U.S.), chicken is sometimes washed in chlorine, or other chemicals to remove harmful bacteria.

This practice was banned in the European Union (EU) in 1997 over food safety concerns.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, however, said “the UK has long been a world leader in food safety and animal welfare, and we will continue to uphold our high food safety standards in all future trade deals.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the U.S. wanted to agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK in 2020.

New Environment Secretary George Eustice also drew criticism recently following  refusing to rule out chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef being imported from the United States under a new deal.

But the European Union (EU) believes that relying on chlorine at the end of the meat production process could be a way of compensating for poor hygiene standards, such as dirty abattoirs.

In 2020, the UK will also be negotiating a free trade deal with Brussels to ensure that UK goods are not subject to tariffs once the Brexit transition period ends December 31.

Agency report says the EU will demand that the UK maintains a ban on chlorinated chicken as the price for a trade agreement with the bloc.

Earlier, Theresa Villiers, Mr. Eustice’s predecessor, was reported to have told the BBC that the current European Union ban on chlorine-washed chicken would be carried over into UK legislation after Brexit.

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