BMPA chief executive Nick Allen believes the decision to allow hormone-treated beef into the UK would cause “consumer concern” and make it very difficult for UK suppliers to export to Europe.
The Australian Government has put forward concerns regarding Britain and the importing of hormone-treated beef, according to The Times, which found a leaked briefing document on the issue for ministers. In a recent Australian parliamentary enquiry, it was commented that if Britain removed the hormone regulations after leaving the EU, then Australian producers would be affected due to products from other countries that would have been previously prohibited.
The European Commission has prohibited the use of substances having a hormonal action for growth promotion in farm animals.
“Europe doesn’t allow it [hormone-treated beef] in and they would be extremely strict and look very closely at what was going from the UK into Europe,” Allen told GlobalMeatNews.
He added that if hormone-treated beef was given approval, then it would cause quite a debate in the UK.
“Our consumers would be very cautious about it,” Allen noted. “It is a consumer concern, and they will have a lot of reservations about it, which could have wider consequences.”
Chlorine chicken discussions re-ignite
As well as Australia’s concerns, America is set to restart discussions with Britain about importing chlorine-washed chicken, which has already ignited concerns about meeting welfare standards in the UK.
In response to the claims, the Department for International Trade said it was committed to a mutually beneficial economic trading arrangement with Australia.
“This government has been very clear that the UK will maintain its own high animal welfare and environmental standards in future free trade agreements,” said a Department for International Trade spokesperson. “To say anything else is untrue.”