The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has welcomed the news that an amendment to Agriculture Bill, requiring food imports to meet domestic standards, was voted through in the House of Lords.
Despite assurances from Ministers that UK standards will not be compromised post-Brexit, earlier attempts to amend the Agriculture Bill were stopped by the Government.
CIEH has been lobbying peers on the issue of food standards, urging support for amendments to preserve the UK’s existing food safety, animal welfare and environmental standards for both domestic and imported products in law.
“This is a huge victory for our campaign to ensure that Britain’s high food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards are not undermined in future trade agreements.”
The amendment to the Agriculture Bill represented a key breakthrough for public health according to CIEH, as peers passed Amendment 93 on food standards, defeating the Government by 95 votes.
Now the Bill will return once again to the House of Commons where MPs will have the opportunity to vote on and possibly overturn this amendment.
Gary McFarlane, Northern Ireland director at CIEH, said: “This is a huge victory for our campaign to ensure that Britain’s high food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards are not undermined in future trade agreements.
“Without legal protections, UK consumers could be exposed to cheap, low-quality imports like chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef, undermining existing standards and paving the way for the erosion of British standards in the future.
“We are delighted that the House of Lords has been able to hold the Government to account on its manifesto commitment to maintain and improve existing standards post-Brexit.”