UK Supermarkets Reject Chlorinated Chicken
Some of the major supermarket chains in the UK have pledged not to sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef, amid concerns that a potential trade deal with the US post-Brexit will see shop shelves stocked with such products… even though they’re currently banned in the UK, along with others that don’t meet food safety standards.
Aldi and Waitrose have both vowed never to sell these items, along with M&S, Co-op and Sainsburys, with Tesco reaffirming a previous commitment not to sell products such as these.
Consumer research carried out by Which? shows that four out of five people would feel uncomfortable eating beef given growth hormones, while three out of four said they wouldn’t be comfortable with eating chlorinated chicken.
Giles Hurley, chief executive of Aldi, said the brand would always support British suppliers, saying that it is a signatory to the Back British Farming Charter and its range of milk and fresh meat is Red Tractor-approved.
“Britain has some of the highest food-quality standards in the world, and our commitment to only source chicken and beef from this country means our customers know they are always buying high-quality Aldi products at unbeatable value,” he went on to say.
However, even if every supermarket in the country pledged not to stock these products and others that don’t meet the food safety standards we currently have, Which? is concerned that chlorinated chicken and similar could still find its way into the catering industry, where it’s harder to trace.
The consumer watchdog is now urging the government to make sure that food standards are proactively enshrined in law and not problematic in any trade deal that could potentially be made.
It would be possible to make legal commitments relating to maintaining food standards could be made through the trade or agriculture bills, which are already before Parliament now.
Head of consumer protection Sue Davies called for decisive action on this issue, instead of waiting for businesses to take the lead. Legislation would send a signal to trading partners that all the progress that has been made on food safety, quality and animal welfare won’t be compromised when people are shopping or eating.
However, Tim Smith, chairman of the government’s Trade and Agriculture Commission, has said that alarmism over chlorinated chicken and other such products needs to stop, with the commission set up to help make sure that farmers in Britain aren’t ‘undermined by imports produced by methods illegal in this country.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, he said that perspective is now required in order to work out what is best for consumers where trade deals are concerned.
He didn’t rule out the possibility that either product could be imported as part of a potential US trade deal, however.
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