The USDA is hopeful that the UK will cut EU regulations after Brexit, giving the two countries the chance of working on trade deals of their own. The Undersecretary for Trade at the USDA warned against continuing to infer that U.S. “chlorinated” chicken is inferior to British chicken.
“We hope that the U.K. will look for its own food standards, environmental safety protocols,” said Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports Bloomberg Politics. “We find the EU a very difficult place to do business and so we hope that as part of Brexit, the reset button can at least be considered.”
Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump have discussed trade in the past. From an agriculture standpoint, one stumbling block has been the resistance of the EU (and UK, by extension) to accept chicken that has been rinsed with a chlorine solution. McKinney said the U.S. is “sick and tired” of hearing from Britain that American chicken isn’t safe to eat.
“We would like all of British society to understand that is not a practice that’s in use very much,” McKinney said. “The quality of our poultry, we’d put up against U.K. poultry any day of the week and twice on Sunday."
McKinney said that Michael Gove, the British environmental secretary, has privately told U.S. officials that the current attitudes to American chicken are unfair, and that he would “not conflate chlorinated chicken with food safety standards.”