Liam Fox, the U.K.’s international trade secretary, has discussed trade talks and prospects of food and agriculture in the U.S. this week. Then the U.K.’s secretary of state for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, stated that the U.K. might not agree on imports of chlorinated chicken, and other food & agriculture products under any new trade rules.
In the post-Brexit trade deal, this led to a split opinion as the U.S. stressed to export chlorine chicken, hormone-treated beef, and genetically modified crops to the U.K., which evidently were ruled out by the U.K.’s secretary, as allowing imports of such products are banned under EU regulations.
Chlorinated chicken, genetically modified crops such as maize, and beef nourished with growth stimulating hormones are familiar features observed in the U.S. market, but banned in the EU. The U.S. promoters state that, to clean bacteria, and other containments of chicken, it is chlorinated, which in turn promotes a healthy germ-free meat.
Liam Fox assures not to worry about the Brexit deal, and the chlorine-washed chicken, disagreeing that the Americans were consuming it safely for years. The EU has barred it, after enduring criticisms that the U.S. farmers use chemical washes to cater for insufficient sanitation on farms, and slaughterhouses. The EU has mentioned that to protect consumers by maintaining safety, and public assurance in the food served is of the uppermost concern.
British leaders have also stated their fear of letting down their standards to compete with the U.S., which will lose its access to EU markets, as there will be no approval required for British products. In addition, If the U.K.’s standards are let down, it may possibly imply that the EU declines to approve entry to the U.K. farmed goods. The EU, being the largest market for the U.K. food and agricultural products, this can become catastrophic.
On the other hand, in the U.K., there is growth in big intensive farms, which will further be categorized under the U.S. regulations as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which is also widely known as Megafarms. This expansion unveils how Brexit is opening completely new areas of conflict, and disagreement in businesses and societies all over the U.K. Currently, the U.K. megafarms are poles apart from the U.S. facilities on same measures, as they are administered by the EU welfare standards.
However, the U.K. has prospects outside the EU to reinforce standards of farming, raising the bar rather than letting it down. Every single aspect of trade negotiations counts, as every aspect could affect businesses, and consumers, negatively or positively.