Rule out chlorinated chicken being ‘on the menu’ in trade talks, says MP
By Lewis McKenzie, PA Parliamentary Reporter
Chlorinated chicken must not be “on the menu” as part of future trade negotiations, the Government has been told.
Raising the concerns of constituents who enjoy a “cheeky Nando’s”, Conservative MP Matt Vickers (Stockton South) called for the UK to remain a “world leader” on food and animal welfare standards.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said that the sale of any poultry treated with a chlorine wash is currently prohibited.
Mr Vickers said: “Many people across Stockton South and I enjoy a cheeky Nando’s or a finger-lickin’ good KFC. We are concerned at the prospect of chlorinated chicken.
“Can (Mr Eustice) guarantee once again that chlorinated chicken will not be on the menu in our trade negotiations and that we’ll remain a world leader on food and animal welfare standards?”
Mr Eustice responded: “In any trade negotiation it will be for the UK to determine what goes in the so-called SPS chapter which addresses these issues.”
He added: “There is currently a prohibition on sale of any poultry treated with a chlorine wash.”
Tory MP Andy Carter (Warrington South) suggested that some of the concern around food standards had been driven by “misinformation”.
“I return to the topic covered by (Mr Vickers) although I am less of a finger licker,” Mr Carter told the Commons.
“Many of my constituents in Warrington South have written to me concerned about maintaining high food standards in future trade agreements, many driven by the misinformation from the benches opposite.
“Does (Mr Eustice) agree with me that sticking with the UK’s high food and animal welfare standards is amongst other things in this Government’s interest?
“Because that’s what customers in this country expect and demand from UK food producers.”
Mr Eustice said: “We in this country have built a very sophisticated and valuable market based on the safety of our food, the standards of our food, our high animal welfare standards.
“And we’ve committed in our manifesto to maintain those.”