Daily Management Review

UK Criticism Of US Over Food Standards Dismissed By Its Ambassador To Britain


03/10/2019




The comments of a former UK minister about the country would not be able to accept the “woefully deficient” American farming practices after a post-Brexit trade deal was nullified by the US ambassador to the UK and dismissed the charges that the US food standards was a “marketing campaign”.
 
Donald Trump would make sure any trade deal between the UK and US “has to include farming and farm products”, said Woody Johnson after accusing the European Union of being a “museum of agriculture”.
 
“The president has made it pretty clear he would love to have a robust trade deal with the UK. But any trade deal that we do with the UK will have to include agriculture. Agriculture is extremely important to the president,” he said during an interview with BBC’s Radio 4 Today.
 
There was an outcry in the UK after Johnson called on the UK to stop opposing some of the practices like to the use of hormones in beef and the use of chlorine for washing of chicken when it starts considering a trade deal with the United States.
 
Amidst the outcry, the UK voice that caused the biggest stir was that of George Eustice, a Brexit supporter and the a minister for agriculture till last week, who said that the US should stand in the queue of the countries that are already waiting to strike a trade deal with the UK after Brexit if the US believes that the UK would accept its “backward” animal welfare and food safety standards.
 
He said that free trade would be given a bad name and therefore agreeing to any trade deal that would loosen the food and agriculture safety standards would be a mistake.
 
In response to such comments, Johnson said “a lot of these statements are designed perhaps by the EU to create barriers” and that “the campaign against US farm products has been very, very successful”.
 
He had however mistakenly claimed that the lowest level of food poisoning was seen in the US. According to the Sustain alliance for better food and farming, the rates in the UK are better than those in the US.
 
The issue of food safety is a very touchy one in the UK and for its government. Insistence of maintenance of food and welfare standards has been stressed by its environment secretary Michael Gove. However, the safety of chlorine-washed chicken was defended by the trade secretary, Liam Fox.
 
The UK market for food is sophisticated and discerning but agriculture in the US “remains quite backward in many respects”, said Eustice writing for the Guardian.
 
“Their livestock sectors often suffer from poor husbandry which leads to more prevalence of disease and a greater reliance on the use of antibiotics,” he said. “Whereas we have a ‘farm to fork’ approach to managing disease and contamination risk throughout the supply chain through good husbandry, the culture in the US is more inclined to simply treat contamination of their meat at the end with a chlorine or similar wash.”
 
(Source:www.theguardian.com)






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