Food for thought

Leaving the EU will leave the UK wide open to pressure from Donald Trump's US farming lobby to lower our standards on food quality as part of a US-UK trade deal. As a member of the EU, we have far higher standards of food production and distribution than the US. Much of their mass market food is nothing but a health disaster and it is no wonder that the US has the highest obesity rate of 74% in the world. British supermarkets could be swamped with deregulated, cheap food imports from the US. This may hit the UK in three ways, firstly it will  send our farmers and fisherman to the wall, as they won't be able to compete on price, second it will threaten our health and third the NHS will be swamped by an obesity epidemic. The US comes bottom of the list compared with European countries including Britain in terms of medical care. Nearly 43% of low income Americans went without care compared with 8% in the UK. Most low income Americans eat food prepared as follows.

 

US chicken is washed in chlorine dioxide, acidified sodium chlorite, trisodium phosphate or peroxyacids, which means chicken infected with salmonella can enter the food chain.. Despite the fact that arsenic is a well-known toxin and carcinogen, it’s often added to chicken feed in the U.S. to help promote growth and kill parasites. US beef is fed synthetic hormones in the feedlots prior to slaughter. The chemicals are essentially growth hormones meant to increase the net amount of meat produced from each cow, but numerous concerns have been raised (by the US National Cancer Association) about the high incidence of hormonal cancers produced as well. Meat from US pigs, cows, and turkeys fed ractopamine is linked to increased heart rate and anxiety in humans. US farmed salmon is fed with synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which is banned in Australia and New Zealand. The growth hormone rBGH fed to US cows to increase milk production is a mercurial concoction, but is banned in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the entire European Union due to human health concerns. Atrazine is a potential  endocrine disruptor but is used extensively in the US farming, as is Neonicotinide pesticide which is linked to falls in the bee population [who then does the pollination?]. The US allows genetically engineered crops, which are banned by the EU.

 

EU rules on food standards and farming kept much of the cheap and potentially unhealthy US food out of the UK food chain, but ultra-rich, Brexitering, free marketers  Nigel Lawson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Jacob Rees Mogg and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can't stand anything that gets in the way of stopping their circle make loads of money from importing cheap, low quality food, which is about all many in the UK will be able to afford if we leave the EU.

 

Public health should come before profit and that is a very good reason for campaigning to stay with EU standards. It's one of many things membership of the EU has done for us. Let's not throw it away.

 


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  • David Daniels