Farm groups express fury at Government plans to accept US food safety standards

Read full article

Farm groups have expressed their fury after reports suggested the Government is preparing to break away from EU food safety rules at an upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) summit.

According to City AM, Julian Braithwaite, the UK’s permanent representative to the WTO, is due to make a ‘clear statement about future intentions’ on areas such as beef hormones, gene editing, genetic modification and the use of peracetic acid to wash poultry at a future meeting on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures.

The move comes just days after several leading farm groups, including the NFU, National Sheep Association, Livestock Auctioneers Association, TFA, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) told Farmers Guardian they wanted new Defra Secretary George Eustice to make the protection of standards in trade deals a key priority.

At the Oxford Farming Conference in January, former Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers said the Government would not compromise the UK’s high food, environmental or animal welfare standards, and the Conservative manifesto promised the same, but Ministers have so far refused to write any safeguards into domestic legislation.

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of food and farming alliance Sustain, said: “If this is true, it is an outrageous betrayal of the British people and deeply worrying for our farmers.

“The PM himself promised our food standards would not be lowered to secure trade deals.

“Consumers have repeatedly said they do not want hormone-injected, chlorine-rinsed, antibiotic-intensive food. These processes often mask terrible animal welfare conditions.

“The UK should be leading the way in high-quality, high-welfare food, not bending over backwards to please the United States.”

 

 

Abi Kay

Read full article Share on twitter