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Farm animals antibiotics data raises post-Brexit trade fears

Source: The Guardian

Use of antibiotics on farms in US and Canada about five times the UK level, says report…

The overuse of antibiotics on farm animals is rife in some of the key countries with which the UK is hoping to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, a new report shows, raising fears that future deals will jeopardise public health and British farming.

The US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada all allow farmers to feed antibiotics routinely to livestock to make them grow faster, and in the US and Canada farm antibiotic use is about five times the level in the UK, data compiled by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics shows.

Meat produced in this way is cheaper, because the animals grow faster and can be kept in overcrowded conditions. But the meat is soon to be banned in the EU, for safety and public health reasons.

Read full article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/01/farm-animals-antibiotics-data-raises-post-brexit-trade-fears

Trade and Agriculture Commission membership announced

Credit: Gov.uk

The Commission represents farmers, retailers and consumers in the UK, advising Government on trade policies to adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers

Gov.uk Press release – 10 July 2020

Retailers, farming unions, consumer, hospitality and environmental bodies from across the UK have been named as members of the Government’s new Trade and Agriculture Commission.

It will be chaired by food safety expert Tim Smith, a former Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency and Tesco Group Technical Director.

The English, Scottish and Welsh branches of the National Farmers Union (NFU) are all represented, as are the Ulster Farmers Union and the Farmers’ Union of Wales. Other members include the British Retail Consortium, UK Hospitality, and the Food and Drink Federation.

It will report directly to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.

Read more…… 

Boris Johnson’s US trade deal will make Britain a paradise for disaster capitalists

The Conservative manifesto made a clear promise. It pledged that in the government’s trade talks, “we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”. Just six months after the election, the promise has been ditched. Our government is now proposing that chlorine-washed chicken, beef treated with growth hormones, pork from animals injected with a drug that makes their meat leaner, called ractopamine, and scores of other foods produced in the United States by dangerous, cruel and disgusting means will be allowed into this country, as long as higher trade taxes (tariffs) are applied to them.

 The trade secretary, Liz Truss, has made it clear that any such tariffs would be removed within 10 years. It’s impossible to see the American trade negotiators allowing them to pass in the first place. The US intends to secure “comprehensive” access to our food markets, while “reducing or eliminating tariffs”. This nonsense about higher tariffs is a blatant attempt to soften us up, to sugar the toxic pill of US imports that don’t meet our standards. When I say sugar, I mean high-fructose corn syrup.

Full report: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/09/boris-johnson-trade-deal-us-chlorinated-chicken?

New UK GMO regulations – what do they mean?

One of the most worrying aspects of the current political upheaval in the UK and Europe is the risk of being so overwhelmed by the noise and sense of urgency that we miss what’s really going on.

In the UK, the Brexit process involves, amongst other things, the transfer of European legislation into UK law – a process which has followed a stop-start pattern for most of this year.

However, during the prorogation of Parliament in September several key pieces of legislation slipped through undebated including the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019 and the Animal Health and Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

The new regulation is largely the same as current EU regulations with one notable exception. It mandates that GMO regulations are reviewed and revised every 5 years (first report due Sept 2024) – and that these should prioritise, where possible, “less onerous regulatory provision”.

Apart from ringing alarm bells about ‘slippery slopes’, this time frame buys the UK some time while Europe figures out what it wants to do about regulating GMOs.

Only last week EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told MEPs that if the UK wanted to secure a trade agreement it would have to maintain a level playing field and not undercut EU regulation. In this respect, as in many others, Brexit does not necessarily sever the UK from the EU.

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: Beyond GM

Full article: https://beyond-gm.org/new-uk-gmo-regulations-what-do-they-mean/

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