What’s got people flapping
Liam Fox is in Washington today for talks with his US counterpart to discuss potential UK-US trade deals once the UK has left the EU.
The international trade secretary is in the US for two days of talks although a deal cannot be signed until Brexit has been finalised and the UK has left the EU.
According to reports The American Farming Association is adamant that any deal made between the US and UK must include agriculture which could mean that chlorine washed chicken, hormone fed beef and genetically modified crops could make their way to Britain.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister Theresa May said in a briefing: “Our priority when it comes to food is that maintaining the safety and public confidence in the food we eat is of the highest priority.
“Any future trade deal must work for UK farmers, businesses and consumers.”
However according to the Daily Telegraph the cabinet is split on the issue with Fox and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arguing the case against Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
Gove has said that the UK will retain existing EU standards on environmental and animal welfare once we have left.
Chlorinated chicken is a process used by farmers in the US on non-organic produce to prevent microbial contamination from the animal’s digestive tract to the meat.
The practice which is banned in the EU on health grounds involves chicken carcasses being dipped in strongly chlorinated water, it is thought this process leads to sloppy standards in abattoirs as they rely on decontaminating rather than ensuring basic hygiene is up to standard.
While consumers might be happy with more cash in their pockets, US chicken is roughly a fifth cheaper that EU standard produced meat, environmentalists are worried that it could lead to falling standards elsewhere.