A damning new survey has found that the overwhelming majority of Scottish people – including Tory voters – are opposed to Boris Johnson’s plans for a race to the bottom in food standards that will allow chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef to flood Scottish shops and supermarkets post-Brexit.
The research published by consumer group Which? revealed that –
96% of respondents living in Scotland said it is important existing standards are maintained,
Around four in five (82%) said they’d be uncomfortable eating chlorinated chicken, while nearly nine in 10 (86%) said they’d be uncomfortable eating hormone-treated beef,
A staggering 95% of respondents in Scotland who voted for the Tories in the 2019 general election backed calls for food standards to be maintained,
And around three quarters stated they were uneasy that the Tory government has not ruled out lifting the bans on chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef (74%).
The SNP has repeatedly warned that the Tories’ rule-breaking Internal Market Bill could allow for lower quality produce to be sold in the UK, and that high standards currently in place in Scotland could be overridden by Westminster.
The Tories have also resisted attempts by the SNP to secure high food and environmental standards through amendments to the agriculture and trade bills.
Commenting, the SNP’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs spokesperson Dave Doogan MP said:
“The findings published by Which? highlight beyond any doubt the significant public opposition to Boris Johnson’s reckless plans for a race to the bottom in food standards to secure post-Brexit trade deals.
“With the survey revealing that 96% of people in Scotland back maintaining high standards, roughly four in five uncomfortable eating chlorinated chicken, and nearly nine in 10 uncomfortable eating hormone-treated beef, the message from Scotland to the Tory threat could not be clearer.
“Worryingly for Boris Johnson is the staggering number of Tory voters voicing their concerns to his plans – with 95% of those in Scotland who voted for the Tories backing calls for food standards to be maintained, and around three quarters concerned that the Tory government has not ruled out lifting the bans on chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef.
“It’s no secret that the Tories’ rule-breaking Internal Market Bill would enable the UK government to override the high standards currently in place in Scotland, and allow low quality produce and goods to flood our stores and supermarkets.
“Agriculture is entirely devolved to the Scottish Parliament and any attempts by Boris Johnson’s government to impose lower standards or undermine our world-leading agriculture and food industry would be nothing short of an undemocratic power grab.
“The Tories have one last chance with their agriculture bill next week to secure future food and environmental standards, as the public is demanding.
“They could choose to accept an amendment made by the Lords to the legislation instead of seeking to overturn it.
“Every time they resist doing the right thing, they drive a wedge between themselves and public opinion.
“And put beyond doubt that the only way to protect Scottish interests and key industries and maintain Scotland’s high food standards is by becoming an independent country.”