Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Cummings Chlorinated Chicken and the Agriculture Bill 2020

While Cummingsgate rages across the country and the rest of the world continues to facepalm at us, the government is quietly passing very damaging legislation.

Firstly, the Agriculture Bill is currently passing through the legislative process. There are some positives in there, such as a focus on food security and financial support for farmers however the bill simply rips up food standards.

The NFU are not usually in line with my own thinks but they have this to say: "The NFU believes that it would be futile to develop a comprehensive and ambitious domestic support policy, simply for UK farmers’ efforts to be undermined through the importation of products not produced to the same level of environmental or animal health/welfare standards expected of them domestically. It is essential that government policy is coherent and that trade policy and agricultural policy go hand in hand."

I probably have to give a shout out at this point to my local Tory MP, Helen Grant. She was the only Tory rebel against this bill! Hopefully she was unhappy with the lowering of standards rather than the support for farmers....

Secondly, the Trade Bill is also working its way through Parliament.

This is from the New Statesman: "There is nothing in the Trade Bill that will protect the food standards which keep us safe, nor safeguard the livelihoods of our farmers who follow much higher animal welfare standards. This is a race to the bottom."

Globalisation is truly a race to the bottom, one that we look like winning. The losers will be key workers, Nature and, well, all of us. Personally I won't be eating chlorinated chicken or any other horror stories, but I will be eating a range of fruit and vegetables that may end up being covered in some pretty nasty chemicals. Those of you who eat meat will be facing far worse issues. We will head to a point where the farmers will have to drop their standards to compete.

Sadly this isn't hitting the media. Somehow it seems like a perfect week to bury bad news.

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