WESTMINSTER SCOTTISH SECRETARY ASKED TO REMOVE FOOD STANDARDS THREAT

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South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has written to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack to ask him to support calls for the Tory government to remove the threat of lower food standards in any future trade deal – after a poll found that 83% of Scots are against US-style hormone-fed chicken entering the UK market.

Mr Jack has already been criticised by the farming community after voting against a crucial amendment last month that would have protected UK farming from sub-standard imports as part of the Tory-Trump trade deal.

The polling from YouGov has revealed that 80% of Scots consumers are also against US demands such as imports of chlorine washed chicken, 81% are against imports of vegetables grown with EU-banned pesticides and 90% say we shouldn’t remove the labels showing origin of meat products.

Foods that are currently protected under the EU protected food name scheme such as Scotch Beef and Lamb, Arbroath Smokies and Stornoway Black Pudding are also at risk from cheap, sub-standard imports with the Tories so far refusing to ensure geographically limited produce will be protected in a US trade deal.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:

“It’s absolutely clear that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland do not want to see chlorine chicken, hormone-injected meat or vegetables riddled in pesticides on our supermarket shelves. It’s not just this poll that proves it – a ‘Support Our Standards’ petition to the UK Government, set up by the National Farmers Union, has been signed by over one million people. As the president of the NFU Scotland, Andrew McCornick, says, this gives politicians a ‘crystal clear message on how the nation feels about the potential pitfalls of a poor trade deal that fails to support food and farming across the UK.’

“The threat to our local food and drink industry, here in Dumfries and Galloway, from a Tory-Trump trade deal is growing by the day as the US ramps up its demands to flood the UK market with lower standard imports.

“So I’ve now written to Mr Jack to ask him to think again and protect his farming constituents here in Dumfries and Galloway by demanding his party drop these damaging plans.

“Once again Scotland is an afterthought for the Tories, as the interests of Scottish farmers and producers are being sacrificed so Boris Johnson can pander to the demands of Donald Trump.

“Enough is enough – the UK Tory government needs to enshrine in law that Scotland’s world-class food and drink sector will be protected.”

YouGov Results – US Trade Deal

Thinking about a future trade deal with the United States, the USA are likely to ask for Britain to makes some changes to our rules, quotas or tariffs to make American imports to Britain easier and in exchange Britain will ask for the USA to makes changes to their rules, quotas or tariffs to make British exports to the USA easier. Below are some changes that that people have suggested that the USA might ask for, in each case, please say whether you think it would or would not be acceptable as part of a trade deal with the USA?

 

Allowing imports of chloride washed chicken to the UK
  GB Scotland London Rest of

South

Midlands

/ Wales

North
Would be acceptable 8% 11% 7% 8% 8% 8%
Would not be acceptable 80% 80% 85% 80% 81% 77%
Don’t know 12% 9% 8% 12% 11% 15%
             
RATIO -72% -69% -78% -72% -73% -69%
Allowing imports of hormone-fed chicken to the UK
  GB Scotland London Rest of

South

Midlands

/ Wales

North
Would be acceptable 8% 8% 7% 8% 8% 9%
Would not be acceptable 80% 83% 82% 80% 82% 76%
Don’t know 12% 9% 11% 13% 11% 15%
             
RATIO -72% -75% -75% -72% -74% -67%
Allowing imports of vegetables grown with pesticides banned in the EU
  GB Scotland London Rest of

South

Midlands

/ Wales

North
Would be acceptable 9% 11% 7% 7% 12% 8%
Would not be acceptable 79% 81% 83% 78% 78% 78%
Don’t know 12% 8% 9% 15% 10% 15%
RATIO -70% -70% -76% -71% -66% -70%
Allowing imports of dairy products treated with antibiotics
  GB Scotland London Rest of

South

Midlands

/ Wales

North
Would be acceptable 9% 12% 9% 8% 9% 9%
Would not be acceptable 75% 73% 77% 76% 75% 71%
Don’t know 17% 15% 14% 16% 16% 19%
             
RATIO -66% -61% -68% -68% -66% -62%
Removing labels showing origin of meat products
  GB Scotland London Rest of

South

Midlands

/ Wales

North
Would be acceptable 5% 4% 4% 5% 6% 7%
Would not be acceptable 87% 90% 90% 87% 89% 82%
Don’t know 8% 6% 6% 8% 5% 11%
             
RATIO -82% -86% -86% -82% -83% -75%

 

Allowing companies from elsewhere to use “geographically limited” names, such as Prosecco, Blue Stilton and Parmigiano Reggiano

  GB Scotland London Rest of

South

Midlands

/ Wales

North
Would be acceptable 24% 29% 24% 21% 27% 24%
Would not be acceptable 56% 53% 56% 57% 59% 54%
Don’t know 20% 18% 19% 21% 14% 23%
             
RATIO -32% -24% -32% -36% -32% -30%

 

Link to more information on the “Support our Standards” petition –

www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/news/18526908.one-million-signatures-support-scotlands-high-food-standards/