Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North

Barry responds to Liam Fox's comments on importing chlorine washed chicken

Barry has responded to International Trade Secretary Liam Fox's comments on being open to importing chlorine-washed chicken from the United States.


Chlorine washing is a method of washing a chicken's carcass with strongly chlorinated water to clean the carcass prior to food preparation and is a practice that is legal in the US.

While US producers argue that it prevents microbe contamination from the animal's digestion tract but the practice, as well as importation of chlorine washed chicken, is illegal within the EU on food safety standards.

When the UK leaves the EU it will be able to set the terms of its own trading agreements and the International Trade Secretary. Asked about the question of chlorinated chicken and food standards, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox stated that the media was obsessed with questions of food standards and that there is 'no safety concern' over chlorinated chicken.

Responding to the Secretary of State's comments, Barry said:

“This just goes to show that you should never trust a Fox in your hen coop. We are proud of the product standards and regulations we have developed in the UK. Our health and safety and animal welfare standards are among the highest in the world. By arguing the case for chlorine-washed chicken, Liam Fox shows he is ready to abandon British poultry farmers in favour of cheap US imports that do not meet our sanitary or animal welfare standards.

“The US is our biggest trading partner outside of the EU and accounts for 17 per cent of British exports. We want to see that figure grow and every effort must be made to support British exporters and reduce unnecessary barriers to trade, but never at the expense of the interests of British consumers and producers.

“Labour has repeatedly called on the Secretary of State to produce a trade white paper setting out the government’s priorities. Only by aligning our trade agenda with our industrial strategy can we determine the basis on which to enter into trade talks. There must be a clear agenda, transparency, and consultation with stakeholders from businesses to trade unions.”

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