Published: 09:33, 18 June 2020
| Updated: 09:34, 18 June 2020
A petition calling on the government to ensure future trade deals do not lead to the importation of foods that would be illegal to produce here has been signed by more than one million people.
Organised by the National Farmers' Union (NFU), it seeks to put pressure on the government to support the introduction of a Trade, Food and Farming Standards Commission that can review trade policy and ensure all food imports meet the UK’s high standards.
It comes amid growing concerns that products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef could start appearing on UK shelves - undermining the efforts of local farmers.
NFU South East regional board chairman David Exwood added: “This means so much to us as farmers – it is a clear indication of public sentiment. It sends the strongest signal yet to government that that the British people do not want to see food that would be illegal to produce here on our supermarket shelves, or in our restaurants and cafes.
“Foods such as chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef fall well below the standards we British farmers adhere to and people do not want imports of food produced in systems with lower levels of animal welfare or environmental care than we have here.”
NFU president Minette Batters says: “It has been overwhelming to see this volume of support.It is simply not credible for the government to continue to just pay lip service to this issue, when there is such public support for action. They must now give guarantees to the British people that they have listened to their concerns and will make firm commitments to address them.
“Trade policy is complicated, but what the public are telling us is quite simple. They care deeply about their food, where it comes from and how it is produced. Farmers, animal welfare groups, environmentalists and now the public have made their voices clear.”
More by this authorChris Britcher
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