Hormone-treated beef and the UK-US trade discussions
Date: 31 July 2017
Responding to fears that the UK could be exposed to hormone-treated beef as part of a potential UK-US trade deal, Jean Blaylock a trade campaigner at Global Justice Now said:
“Treating cattle with hormones to increase growth has been banned in the UK for decades because of the risks to human health – scientists have been unable to find any safe level for consumption. But the US has been very upfront about its desire to flood the UK with treated beef.
“The ban on growth hormones is included in a very long list of what the US considers to be barriers to trade, but it’s not just about hormone-treated beef and chlorine-washed chickens. There are ten pages in this list of ‘barriers to trade’ that are entirely devoted to food safety issues in the UK and the EU. There is a very real risk that we will make enormous compromises on all manner of food safety issues in the government’s drive to strike a trade deal with the US at any cost.
“These ‘barriers to trade’ that negotiators are so keen to strip away are not just restricted to food safety standards. They could involve labour rights, environmental protections and data privacy laws. This UK-US trade deal could have massive, far-reaching consequences across society, so it’s astounding that Liam Fox is pursuing it so aggressively with no parliamentary scrutiny or oversight.”