The SNP has said the threat to Scottish food and drink standards is growing – as a new report says “agriculture liberalisation” will be a key focus for the US under any administration.
The Policy Exchange report, which concludes “improving market access for US agriculture exports” will be a priority, will fuel concerns of low standard ‘frankenfood’ imports flooding the UK market and harming Scotland’s booming high-quality food and drink industry.
On Saturday, the UK Department for International Trade appeared to be paving the way for low-standard food imports, tweeting an article defending chlorinated chicken – currently banned in the UK under EU-wide higher food and animal welfare standards.
The growing threat of low-standard imports comes as the Tory government plots a power grab on the Scottish Parliament – where agriculture, food, environmental and animal welfare standards are fully devolved matters.
Research by Which? has revealed that 72% of people do not want products such as chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef to be allowed on sale in the UK at all.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Deidre Brock MP (pictured) said:
“The threat to Scotland’s food and drink industry from a Tory-Trump trade deal is growing by the day – as demands to flood the UK market with low-standard frankenfood imports like chlorine chicken, ractopamine pork and hormone-injected beef intensify.
“With Boris Johnson plotting a power grab on the Scottish Parliament to force through these lower food and animal welfare standards, it’s clear the Tories cannot be trusted to keep their promises to Scottish farmers, producers and consumers.
“Instead of trampling over Scotland’s interests to satisfy Donald Trump, the Prime Minister must rule out any attempt to roll-back devolution or undermine our thriving food and drink industry.
“The SNP will resist this Tory power grab every step of the way – and there is wide consensus among parties in the Scottish Parliament against any attack on the devolution settlement.
“Instead of isolating themselves further, the Scottish Tories must finally join cross-party efforts to prevent the threat to Scotland’s economy and democracy.
“Jackson Carlaw must come out of hiding and find a backbone – or people will conclude the Scottish Tories will always do Boris Johnson’s bidding no matter how damaging.
“Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process and now our devolution is under attack.
“Whatever happens, it is clearer than ever that the only way to protect our economy and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.”