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USA pushes for chlorinated chicken post-Brexit

chicken meat

THE UNITED STATES has given its strongest indication yet that it expects to export agricultural produce to the UK as part of a new trade deal.

It has published a summary of its negotiating objectives for a trade agreement with the UK once it has left Europe.

$230bn

The document says that the current economic relationship between the UK and US “is one of the largest and most complex in the world, with annual two-way trade totaling more than $230 billion”.

But says despite this, both tarriff and nontarriff barriers have “challenged US exporters in key sectors” – something it hopes to change with a new trade deal.

While poultrymeat is not specifically mentioned, under the section “Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) it makes clear that it aims to remove barriers currently in place.

Relavant points include:

Establish a mechanism to remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block the export of
U.S. food and agricultural products in order to obtain more open, equitable, and reciprocal
market access.”

“Establish new and enforceable rules to ensure that science-based SPS measures are developed
and implemented in a transparent, predictable, and non-discriminatory manner.”

“Obtain commitment that the UK will not foreclose export opportunities to the United States
with respect to third-country export markets, including by requiring third countries to align with
non-science based restrictions and requirements or to adopt SPS measures that are not based on
ascertainable risk.”

The European Union does not permit chlorinated chicken on the grounds that it considers a “farm to fork” approach to meat hygiene to be superior.

And work by a team of microbiologists from Southampton University published last year four bacteria such as listeria and salmonella can remain completely active after chlorine washing.

No safety threat

But the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that chlorine washing poses no threat to consumer safety.

Writing in the Telegraph, US ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said of the reaction: “It’s time the myths are called out for what they are – a smear campaign from people with their own protectionist agenda.”


He warned that Britain risked becoming a “museum of agriculture” if it stuck with European standards after Brexit.

British Poultry Council chief executive Richard Griffiths wrote in a blog post: “It represents a diminution of our standards and the ceding of our food sovereignty and security to a foreign power.”

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