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Imports: Meat and Poultry

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 68425, tabled on 2 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to prevent the import of (a) chlorine or acid-washed chicken, (b) hormone-treated beef, (c) ractopamine fed pork, (d) dairy products from bovine somatotropin treated cows, and (e) eggs from battery caged hens; and if she will make a statement.

Answered on

8 July 2020

The approach of HM Government to food standards in trade deals is clear. We remain firmly committed to upholding our high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards.

As we take back control of our laws from the EU, we will decide how we set and maintain our own laws, standards and regulations. When the Transition Period ends, we will be a global leader in environmental protection and animal welfare standards, maintaining the high-quality of our produce for consumers at home and overseas.

The Hon. Gentleman will know that some standards, such as the ban on the use of growth-promoting hormones, are already in domestic legislation. Others, such as the ban on chlorine washing of poultry, will be brought onto our statute book through the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The United Kingdom’s food standards, for both domestic production and imports, are overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. These agencies provide independent advice to HM Government and the devolved administration in Scotland respectively. They will continue to do so in order to ensure that all food imports comply with the United Kingdom’s high standards.