Chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef will be kept out of the United Kingdom under any potential trade deal with the U.S., according to the U.K. Environmental Secretary. Theresa Villiers told the BBC that the current European Union ban on the products will carry over into UK legislation after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
“There are legal barriers to the imports and those are going to stay in place,” said Villiers. “We will defend our national interests and our values, including our high standards of animal welfare.”
The EU says using chlorine to wash the chickens and kill salmonella infections allows American farmers to be careless with the welfare of chickens, and there is no known human health threat from using the solution to keep chickens free of infection.
The EU also says feeding cows with growth-enhancing chemicals could potentially have negative health effects on the humans that consume beef products.
The United States says these rules are nothing more than an attempt by Europe to protect its producers. America has stated publicly that both of these meat products will be central to any possible U.K.-U.S. deal after Brexit.