Liam Fox has reopened the debate on imported chlorinated chicken, after telling MPs there were ‘no health reasons’ consumers shouldn’t eat meat prepared with the process.
“Most of the salads in our supermarkets are rinsed in chlorinated water,” he said at his first appearance before the House of Commons trade committee since February.
His comments have come despite assurances from Michael Gove, Defra’s secretary of state, that he would not permit chlorinated chicken to be imported to the UK as part of any trade deal with the US post-Brexit.
But Fox went further than simply defending the safety of chlorinated chicken and said there was a principle of choice and consumers should be allowed to buy their food from markets around the world.
“have no objection to the British public being sold something that is safe as long as they know what they are eating,” Fox told the committee. “I am a great believer in giving the public a choice over what they are eating so long as the scientists tell us it is safe.”
Chlorine washing of meat is banned in the EU, because of the risk it allows other parts of the supply chain to relax hygiene standards knowing bacteria such as campylobacter and salmonella will be killed at the very end of the process.