What does a US-UK trade deal mean for food standards


Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

Future trade negotiations among the U.S. and the U.K. are raising considerations about a relaxation of foods specifications in Britain.

The countries are because of to have a very first round of negotiations later this month, as they aim to agree on new trade ties just before the conclusion of the year. Even so, specified that each nations have various principles on foods generation, buyer teams in the U.K. are concerned about what this could necessarily mean for food stuff criteria.

“There is a significant difference in meals generation techniques,” Sue Davies, foods and trade plan professional at consumer investigate group Which?, advised CNBC Wednesday, describing that the U.S. works by using hormones in dairy and meat output, as properly as antimicrobial solutions that are forbidden in the U.K.

One particular of the most controversial difficulties is chlorinated chicken, which has turn into one thing of a flashpoint in Britain when it comes to debates more than a U.S.-U.K. trade deal.

There’s a significant variance in chemicals’ use.

Nick Dearden

Director of World Justice Now

The approach entails washing hen in chlorine to take out germs, and is made use of in the U.S. but banned in the U.K. This is simply because European Union (EU) gurus argue it enables for weak hygiene along the offer chain, generally in farms. Nevertheless, with the U.K.’s departure from the EU, the British authorities will never have to comply with EU polices and will for that reason be in a position to redefine its food stuff specifications.

“We come to feel the criteria that we have are very good. We want to sustain them,” Davies said all through a cellular phone connect with. She mentioned that you can find always home for improvement, but “we need to have to hold on to what we have acquired.”

The U.K. authorities has not totally dominated out enabling U.S. chlorinated chicken into Britain. Nevertheless, in the government’s mandate to trade talks with the U.S. it said it will “uphold the U.K.’s higher degrees of community, animal and plant wellness, which includes food stuff basic safety.”

Nick Dearden, director of the campaign team World Justice Now, informed CNBC that the difficulty is about additional than just chlorinated chicken.

He said he was “really, pretty apprehensive” about the use of hormones, intensive animal farming and antibiotics made use of in the U.S. “There is certainly a enormous variation in chemicals’ use,” he included.

Bread on show in the Publix grocery shop in Florida.

Jeff Greenberg

In the U.S., for occasion, a loaf of bread can include little quantities of potassium bromate — a chemical also used in pesticides and hair solutions. Hormones are also routinely applied in U.S. beef output, but some of these substances are regarded as to have a major cancer risk by the EU.

In its mandate ahead of the talks, the U.S. has precisely stated that 1 of its aims is to “create a system to take out expeditiously unwarranted limitations that block the export of U.S. food items and agricultural items in get to obtain additional open, equitable and reciprocal industry access.”

Balancing out what the U.S. wishes with domestic strain to preserve foods requirements untouched will be “a actual combat” for the U.K. federal government, Dearden extra.

He stated that, as trade bargains are signed, Britain will have to defend its basic products and solutions, this kind of as British pies, from being copied and offered much less expensive in other places. In addition, British farmers will also need to have assistance when it arrives to maintaining very best procedures and steer clear of a race to the base.



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