Zippy Duvall, head of the American Farm Bureau, told the BBC this morning that the UK must accept US food standards as part of any future trade deal with Washington, including the washing of chicken in chlorine
Arguing that UK fears over the chlorine issue or genetically modified (GM) crops were not ‘science-based’, he said US farmers were keen to trade with their British ‘friends’.
A poultry farmer himself, Mr Duvall (pictured above) also said he wanted to have ‘a conversation’ about US food standards, given the concerns in the UK.
“You know, here in America we treat our water with chlorine,” he told the BBC’s Today programme. “So, there is no scientific basis that says that washing poultry with a chlorine wash just to be safe of whatever pathogens might be on that chicken as it was prepared for the market, should be taken away.
“If there was something wrong with it our federal inspection systems would not be allowing us to use that.”
The interview followed a visit to London earlier this week by US national security advisor John Bolton which sparked press reports to the effect that the US could strike trade deals with the UK after Brexit on a sector-by-sector basis.
Mr Duvall’s message this morning was that his members don’t want to be left out of any high-speed early trade deal activity.
President of the American Farm Bureau Federation since January 2016, Zippy Duvall is a third-generation farmer from Georgia. In addition to a 400-head beef cow herd for which he grows his own hay, Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, also grow more than 750,000 broilers a year.
Access BBC report here