Importing chlorine washed chicken from the US risks watering down British food standards and creating a two-tier system, says the British Poultry Council (BPC), the trade association representing the nation’s £7.2 billion poultry industry.
The calls from the trade association come after Environment Secretary, George Eustice, refused to rule out chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef being imported from the US in a post-Brexit trade deal.
Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive of the BPC, said any post-Brexit trade deals “must respect” the practices of British poultry producers who “don’t dip their chicken carcase in chemicals as we do not ‘clean up at the end’ or take any short-cuts when it comes to producing food.”
“Britons demand safe, wholesome, and nutritious food; world-class animal welfare; production that respects the environment; food that is affordable and available; and a sustainable and secure supply chain,” he said.
He added: “It’s Government’s duty to ensure that production standards of imported food meet British standards as a condition of entry.
“If food produced to lower standards is allowed to enter the British market, it will create a two-tier food system, in which only the affluent can afford to eat British food grown to British standards. This is unacceptable.
“Losing control of how we feed ourselves as a nation would undermine British food producers at a time when we should be looking to use Brexit as an opportunity to take matters of food security, nutrition, and sustainability into our own hands.”