A DAMNING new survey has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Scottish people are opposed to Tory plans to allow chlorinated chicken into super-markets post-Brexit – including their own voters.
Researched published by consumer group Which? showed a massive 96% of respondents living in Scotland feel it is important to maintain existing standards.
In what has been termed a “race to the bottom in food standards”, the UK Government is looking to introduce post-Brexit legislation allowing products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef to be sold in the UK, while placed under tariffs.
This is despite repeated warnings from the likes of the SNP, who have spoken out against the risk of lower-quality produce being sold in the UK under the Internal Market Bill plans.
The Tory Government has also resisted attempts by the SNP to secure high food and environmental standards through amendments to agriculture and trade bills, with Holyrood pointing to the fact that Scotland’s standards could end up being overridden.
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A particularly surprising find from the Which? survey was that with this considered, a staggering 95% of respondents who had voted for the Tories in last year’s General Election are in fact backing calls for the maintaining of food standards.
The research also revealed that around four in five people (82%) would feel uncomfortable eating chlorinated chicken, while almost nine in 10 (86%) would feel uncomfortable eating hormone-treated beef.
And around three-quarters stated an uneasiness over the Tory Government not ruling out lifting the current ban on those two products.
The SNP’s agriculture and rural affairs spokesperson Dave Doogan said: “The findings published by Which? highlight beyond any doubt the significant public opposition to Boris Johnson’s reckless plans for a race to the bottom in food standards to secure post-Brexit trade deals.
“With the survey revealing that 96% of people in Scotland back maintaining high standards, roughly four in five uncomfortable eating chlorinated chicken, and nearly nine in 10 uncomfortable eating hormone-treated beef, the message from Scotland to the Tory threat could not be clearer.
“Worryingly for Boris Johnson is the staggering number of Tory voters voicing their concerns to his plans – with 95% of those in Scotland who voted for the Tories backing calls for food standards to be maintained, and around three-quarters concerned that the Tory Government has not ruled out lifting the bans on chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef.”
Doogan continued: “It’s no secret that the Tories’ rule-breaking Internal Market Bill would enable the UK Government to override the high standards currently in place in Scotland and allow low-quality produce and goods to flood our stores and supermarkets.
“Agriculture is entirely devolved to the Scottish Parliament and any attempts by Boris Johnson’s government to impose lower standards or undermine our world-leading agriculture and food industry would be nothing short of an undemocratic power grab.
“The Tories have one last chance with their Agriculture Bill next week to secure future food and environmental standards, as the public is demanding. They could choose to accept an amendment made by the Lords to the legislation instead of seeking to overturn it.
“Every time they resist doing the right thing, they drive a wedge between themselves and public opinion. And put beyond doubt that the only way to protect Scottish interests and key industries and maintain Scotland’s high food standards is by becoming an independent country.”