In a Sky News interview earlier this month, environment minister George Eustice refused to rule out the removal of laws prohibiting the import of chlorine-washed chicken from the US as the two countries approach trade talks.
The Guardian also published a story in which it claims that the EU will demand that the UK maintains a ban on chlorinated chicken as part of a potential post-Brexit trade agreement.
British Poultry Council (BPC) chief executive Richard Griffiths said there was “no room for discussion” on the issue.
“British poultry producers don’t dip their chicken carcase in chemicals as we do not ‘clean up at the end’ or take any short-cuts when it comes to producing food,” he said.
“It’s Government’s duty to ensure that production standards of imported food meet British standards as a condition of entry. If food produced to lower standards is allowed to enter the British market, it will create a two-tier food system, in which only the affluent can afford to eat British food grown to British standards. This is unacceptable.
“Losing control of how we feed ourselves as a nation would undermine British food producers at a time when we should be looking to use Brexit as an opportunity to take matters of food security, nutrition, and sustainability into our own hands.”
Speaking on a recent GlobalMeatNews podcast, Tyson Foods group head of poultry Chad Martin said that even though the majority of Tyson plants don’t use the process, he believed it to be perfectly safe in food production.