The SNP has echoed warnings against UK government plans to lower food standards in order to secure a trade deal with the U.S. – which risks flooding the market with low quality imported goods and putting Scotland’s world-leading food and farming industry under threat.
In a letter to the UK government’s Secretary of State for International Trade, consumer group ‘Which?’ stated that allowing chlorinated chicken, hormone injected beef, and other lower standard imports into the UK’s food market would pose the biggest threat to food safety in the UK since the BSE crisis (mad cow disease) more than 20 years ago.
The group also revealed that 72% of people in the UK do not want food that does not meet current standards to enter the UK market.
Commenting, Stewart Hosie MP (pictured) said:
“It’s becoming clearer with each round of talks with our U.S. counterparts that the UK government is moving towards abandoning the high food standards currently in place in order to secure a bottom of the barrel trade deal with Donald Trump.
“Rather than safeguarding our world-leading food and farming sector and protecting consumers, the UK government is preparing to sell them out for a post-Brexit trade deal that will inflict untold damage on the industry, and flood the food market with low quality produce – including chlorinated chicken.
“The Tories previously pledged that they would ‘not compromise’ on the UK’s current high food standards.
“However, they appear to have already abandoned that commitment after blocking amendments to its Agriculture Bill that would have done just that – with every Scottish Tory MP voting against those protections.
“The warnings raised by Which? highlight the serious risk posed by the Tories’ plans, and it’s clear that there is no appetite in the public for our supermarket shelves to be filled with low quality imports.
“The UK government’s plans for a post-Brexit Trump trade deal will put Scotland’s thriving food and drink industry, and our vital farming sector, under grave threat.
“Agriculture is entirely devolved to Holyrood – and any attempt to impose these measures would be an undemocratic power grab and once again show the Tories’ contempt for devolution.”