31 January 19
USA sets out wish list for post-Brexit food trade deal
“UK could be asked to accept chicken washed in chlorine and beef and pork fed with growth-promoting hormones.
The UK could be asked to accept more ‘flexible’ food standards if it wants to make a trade deal with the US after Brexit – including accepting practices banned by the EU.
Our research shows people do not want these foods and 90% think it’s important that UK food standards are maintained after Brexit.
Industry groups in the US have given their government wish lists for a post-Brexit UK-US trade deal.
The recurring theme is for the UK to move away from EU food standards and be more flexible on rules on imported foods.
• The US meat industry wants the UK to accept beef and pork from animals that have been fed growth-promoting hormones banned by the EU.
• It also wants the UK to accept imports of beef cuts and pork that have been washed in lactic acid, and chicken that has been washed in chlorine. Currently only whole beef carcasses washed in lactic acid are accepted into the EU.
• Farming groups and medicine manufacturers want to see rules over genetically modified crops changed and those for meat, fish and dairy treated with antibiotics dropped.
• They also want to see crops produced using pesticides and herbicides banned in the EU being allowed into the UK, and for maximum residue limits for pesticides and herbicides to be amended.
Consumers want standards maintained
Our research shows that people do not want these foods and 90% think it’s important that UK food standards are maintained after Brexit.
Other requests from US industry include limiting geographical labelling rules to enable US manufacturers to use EU-protected terms on their products such as prosecco, stilton and parmigiano reggiano.
Sue Davies, strategic policy partner at Which?, says: ‘The US food safety and standards system is weaker than the UK system, and provides a lower level of consumer protection. ‘One in six Americans are estimated to suffer from food-borne illness every year, much higher than in the UK. There must not be any relaxing of food standards – whether for domestically produced food or food that we import – and we should instead be looking at opportunities to enhance standards.’”