UK will continue its ban on chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef from the US under any trade deal following Brexit.
UK environment secretary Theresa Villiers said that the current European Union (EU) ban on chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef will be carried over into UK legislation after Brexit.
Villers said: “There are legal barriers to the imports and those are going to stay in place.” She has previously stated plans to impose tariffs on any future imports of chicken and beef from the US as she has been receiving great pressure from British farmers.
In an interview Villers assured: “We will defend our national interests and our values, including our high standards of animal welfare.”
Under EU law, chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef are illegal because the EU claims that feeding cows with growth-enhancing chemicals could potentially harm beef-eating humans, to which the US disagrees.
While using a bleach solution to kill salmonella on chickens has no threat to human health, the EU pointed out that using chlorine allows US farmers to be careless with the welfare of the chickens.
In response to the EU law, the US argued that the rules were placed by the EU against these products in an attempt to protect its local producers. The US also claims that the trade of both meat products will be crucial to any UK-US trade deal after Brexit.
While Villers’ commitment to maintaining the ban on both chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef may appease UK consumers and farmers, it may prove to be detrimental to any trade negotiations with the US after Brexit.
In leaked documents on the US-UK trade negotiations, it showed that the US is attempting to establish how far the UK, following Brexit, should detach from the EU’s stand against US farm trade methods.
US officials have raised concerns regarding the “unscientific approach the EU maintains towards Pathogen Reduction Treatments [chlorinated chicken]”.