Farming charity releases top ten food safety concerns posed by US-UK trade deal

 

Farming UK

11 January 2018

 

A charity which promotes environmentally friendly farming has listed its top ten food safety concerns if a UK-US trade deal is struck.

 

In preparation for the second reading of the Trade Bill in the House of Commons, the Soil Association has released a report on the potential food safety risks posed by a free trade deal with the US.

 

Some of the key differences between UK and US production – hormone-treated beef, GM crops and chlorinated chicken – are becoming increasingly understood by British consumers.

 

Indeed, a senior business representative to President Donald Trump has previously warned that the British public may have to accept chlorinated chicken as part of any trade deal between the UK and the US.

 

However, a number of ministers, including Defra Secretary Michael Gove, have frequently insisted that the UK government will seek to maintain farming standards in any negotiations.

 

The Soil Association's report also highlights a number of other areas where products imported from the US could be produced under significantly different standards to British standards.

 

It uses the examples the inclusion of food colourants that have been withdrawn from the UK, the use of the herbicide Atrazine that has previously been linked with human health risks, and the sale of chicken litter as animal feed which was banned by the EU in 2001.

 

High food standards

 

Honor Eldridge, Policy Officer at the Soil Association, said British farming has a reputation for high food safety and high animal welfare.

 

"It is imperative that any future trade deal does not result in a dilution of these standards for consumers. Nor should any deal competitively disadvantage UK farmers," Ms Eldridge explained.

 

"We welcome Michael Gove’s assertion that the UK should not race to the bottom in competing with cheap imports, as well as his commitment to supporting environmentally-friendly farming practice.

 

"If the UK Government is to achieve its goal of improving and strengthening our food standards, future trade agreements must reflect these commitments. To this end, any future trade negotiations must be conducted transparently and with input from public stakeholders."

 

'Any day of the week' ...

 

'Top ten food safety risks' ...

 

1. Chlorine washed chicken ...

 

2. Hormone-treated beef ...

 

3. Ractopamine in pork ...

 

4. Chicken litter as animal feed ...

 

5. Atrazine-treated crops ...

 

6. GE foods ...

 

7. Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) ...

 

8. Potassium bromate ...

 

9. Azodicarbonamide ...

 

10. Food colourants ...

 

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