Speaking during a debate on the Agriculture Bill Ruth Cadbury MP has warned that the Governments approach to trade could ‘open up consumers to chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-impregnated beef’ with these ‘cheap imported foods’ also threatening the viability of many British farmers and our environment.
In her speech Ruth called on the Government to ensure that ‘any imports must meet the same standards of animal welfare that British farmers are required to meet’.
This speech came as the House of Commons voted on a number of amendments to the Agriculture Bill from the House of Lords. These amendments would have put in a binding commitment that imported foods must reach the same standards as food produced in the UK, while ensuring action on the use of pesticides and on climate change.
These amendments were voted down by the Government.
Speaking afterwards Ruth said,
‘‘I know from the hundreds of emails I’ve received from local residents, how concerned many people are about the lowering of our food standards after we leave the European Union. We hear lots of warm words from Government Ministers about protecting food standards, and the environment, but it’s clear that we need these protections put into law.
This is why I voted last night for amendments which would have guaranteed that foods such as chlorinated chicken and hormone injected beef could not be imported.
I know that many people are also particularly concerned about processed foods and other products where it’s hard to see the labels - that’s why the Government need to take a much broader approach and act to protect consumers.
I was extremely disappointed that the Government voted down these amendments. I will keep campaigning for high standards in farming and for real scrutiny of our Governments trade deals.’’