In Brief

Would Liam Fox eat a chlorine-washed chicken?

Trade Secretary dismisses media 'obsession' with lower food standards post-Brexit

Liam Fox's trip to the US has heightened fears the UK may have to compromise on food and animal safety standards if it wants a trade deal after Brexit.

US farmers are expected to lobby for agriculture to be included in any trade deal, a deal that could see chlorine-washed chicken, GM crops and hormone-fed beef imported into Britain for the first time, The Guardian says.

However, Fox yesterday complained transatlantic trade talks were being undermined by the media's "obsession" with the issue.

"In a debate which should be about how you get, or make, a contribution to global liberalisation and the prosperity of both the UK, the US and our trading partners... the British media are obsessed with chlorine-washed chickens," he told the American Enterprise Institute. 

Chickens would be "a detail in the very end stage of one sector of a potential free-trade agreement", he added.

In response, campaign group Open Britain challenged Fox to eat a US chicken. He didn’t answer the call, but the debate is not expected to end there. 

"The row over chlorinated chicken is set to intensify with a warning that cheap imported food could threaten farm animal welfare standards after Brexit," Sky News says.

Fox's trip, which is aimed at setting the stage for trade talks, has driven home to many in the UK that the country may have to compromise on food to secure a bilateral trade deal in the US.

Concerns about EU and US standards "were among issues that resulted in the two sides failing to agree a comprehensive trade and investment partnership last year", the BBC says.

US farmers wash their chickens in chlorine to kill salmonella and other bacteria. Under EU rules, such poultry is banned from imports.

Recommended

The history of Pride
People celebrating Pride in London
In Depth

The history of Pride

The countries that have banned conversion therapy
Conversion therapy protest
Why we’re talking about . . .

The countries that have banned conversion therapy

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin
G7 leaders
Getting to grips with . . .

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin

Quiz of The Week
Protesters outside US Supreme Court
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

What happened to Logan Mwangi?
Tributes left to Logan Mwangi
Today’s big question

What happened to Logan Mwangi?

The Week Footer Banner