Warning of a huge decline in UK's food safety in the post-Brexit era
Food safety in the post-Brexit era is a big concern for the British consumer, as the country is on the verge to open negotiations on free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand.
John Selwyn Gummer, Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK's Committee on Climate Change and former member of British government under John Mayor is worried about the way negotiations on food trade is going to be and mentioned the fact that any deal with the US part is going to be focused on food issues. "We wouldn’t treat our animals as badly as they do there… I don’t think the British people would put up with it. I’ve negotiated with them, for the whole of the EU… You have four times as much food-borne disease in the US", warned the former minister, according to Holy Rood magazine.
Gummer had responsibility for food safety during the mad cow disease epidemic in 1989–90 which eventually claimed 176 British lives. His intervention comes on the back of a long-standing debate over whether a new trade pact with the US could lead to lower food standards. Voices inside Theresa May's government expressed different views on food safety issue regarding animal welfare and hormone-treated beef increasing the uncertainties about this topics.
Not long ago, a report released by professors from University of Sussex and City and the University of London warned the public and the British authorities about the risk presented by a lift of the ban for US hormone-treated beef. "There is a triple risk here: to health, to British beef farmers’ livelihoods, and to the UK’s ability to determine its own food safety standards. Hormone use is a test case for whether the UK seeks a more sustainable food supply. Hormone use would be a stupid step towards intensive beef feeding lots," said Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City, University of London.
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