Chlorine, hormones and the USEthical Food & Drink News & Features
Chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef will not be allowed into the UK under any trade deal with the US, the Environment Secretary has told the BBC’s Countryfile programme.
Legal barriers ‘to stay in place’
In an exclusive interview, Theresa Villiers told presenter Tom Heap that the current EU ban on such imports will be carried over into UK legislation following Brexit.
‘We will not be importing chlorinated-chicken. We will not be importing hormone-treated beef. Both of those are illegal under EU law, which we are importing into our domestic system.
‘There are legal barriers to their import and those are going to stay in place.’
Animal welfare standards
Ms Villiers said the government would ‘hold the line’ in any trade negotiations with the US and would ‘defend our national interests and our values, including our high standards of animal welfare’.
It is the first time the government has explicitly stated that chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef imports into the UK will not be allowed regardless of any new trade deal with the USA.
The statement comes after Ms Villiers’ appearance at the Oxford Farming Conference last Wednesday (08/01), where she suggested the UK could introduce tariffs on imports of food from countries with lower food standards.
But she stopped short of making any promises on specific standards or maintaining the current law itself.
The full interview with Ms Villiers will be shown on Countryfile on BBC1 on Sunday 26 January.