Kate Griffiths MP:
I fully understand your concerns, I too want to maintain UK food standards and animal welfare, issues which I perceive to be of upmost importance.
This is a matter I feel strongly on, and an issue that was highlighted amid the Agriculture Bill. Speaking to local farmers, the NFU, Parliamentary colleagues, Ministers and constituents, to consider the range of opinions on the best way forward to ensure our high food standards remain, ahead of any new trade agreements we make.
It is vital that people across the UK have confidence in the food that they eat, which is why I welcome the Government’s very clear commitment that future trade agreements must uphold our country’s high food standards. Ministers have made clear these standards will not be watered down in pursuit of any trade deal. As well as, that our existing regulations already offer protection against importing foods such as chlorine washed chicken, and this can only be changed by a further vote in the House of Commons.
The UK’s food standards, for both domestic production and imports, are overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. They protect the interests of the public with regard health; enforcing food safety regulations and ensure standards are met. Whilst, also providing guidance on the imports of certain products.
These import standards include a ban on using artificial growth hormones in domestic and imported products and set out that no products, other than potable water, are approved to decontaminate poultry carcases. Any changes to existing food safety legislation would require new legislation to be brought before this Parliament.
All parts of the UK should be proud of our world-leading food. We must ensure any future trade agricultural policy supports and protects our local farmers. I remain committed to protecting our farming industry and protecting our food standards by whatever means are possible.