Scottish Daily Mail
I fear we’ll be swamped with US food pumped with hormones, warns Jamie
JAMIE Oliver has warned that a new trade deal with America could open the door to inferior food, including beef pumped up with growth hormones, banned additives and pesticides.
There are also concerns that GM food produced in the US, which has not been through our strict vetting procedures, could find its way on to our plates.
The EU and the US government are currently negotiating the biggest free trade deal in history – known as TTIP, or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – which will lift barriers to trade across the Atlantic.
The deal will make it easier for UK businesses to export to the US. It could also see the block on exports of British lamb and venison to the US lifted. And the Government claims the deal will help shoppers by reducing import tariffs.
David Cameron has promised to put ‘rocket boosters’ behind talks to secure the deal,
‘This agreement is a Trojan horse’
which it is estimated could add £10billion to the UK economy every year. However critics like Oliver fear it will expose British families to food which does not meet our high standards.
Currently US farmers are allowed to pump up beef cattle with growth hormones. They can also boost milk production with hormone injections, which are banned in Europe. Britain has stopped using some artificial colours in children’s food because of their association with hyperactivity, but they are still used in the US. And American farmers are allowed to spray pesticides which have been banned in the UK for health reasons.
However these protections could be swept away, according to Oliver and other critics of the TTIP. Writing online, the chef revealed that he had held talks this week with Business Secretary Vince Cable to discuss his ‘massive concerns about the UK’s food standards being compromised’.
He said: ‘We have fought long and hard to get where we are today and I really don’t want beef with growth hormones, chickens washed with chlorine or food with banned pesticides and additives.’ Mr Cable and his officials reassured him that his fears were unfounded, but Oliver went on to say: ‘Food is still on the negotiating table and that does mean technically anything can still happen. I’m glad they are aware of my concerns, but we must keep watching this space very carefully.’
A Government spokesman said: ‘Food safety standards are not up for negotiation and the high standards we enjoy in the UK will never be compromised.’ However Adrian Bebb, from Friends of the Earth, said: ‘This agreement is a Trojan horse that will threaten our food safety. The only winners will be the corporations that push industrially produced foods.’