Secretary of State Michael Gove has said the UK would not ‘dilute’ its higher welfare and environmental standards in pursuit of a US trade deal.
According to the Telegraph, Dr Fox believes Americans have been eating chlorinated chicken safely for years and any meaningful trade deal with the US would have to include agriculture.
But Secretary of State Michael Gove said the UK would not accept chlorinated chicken as part of a US trade deal.
Mr Gove and his predecessor Andrea Leadsom have both emphasised Britain’s higher welfare standards as an asset post-Brexit.
Speaking to the BBC, Michael Gove said: “I have made it perfectly clear we are not going to dilute our high environmental standards or our animal welfare standards in the pursuit of a trade deal.
“We need to ensure that we do not compromise those standards. And we need to be in a position as we leave the European Union to be leaders in environmental and in animal welfare standards.”
The chicken costs shoppers in the US 21 per cent less than its UK equivalent, raising fears British farmers could be put out of business if it enters the UK market.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “It is vital the Secretary of State for International Trade ensures any discussions about future trade deals do not allow cheap food imports which undermine the high standards British farmers are proud to produce to.
“The public trusts this food is world-leading in traceability and safety from the farm right through to the fork.”
Since his appointment last year, the Trade Secretary has repeatedly fuelled concerns about cheap food.
In March, Farmers Guardian revealed ministers at the Department for International Trade had failed to meet a single farming group in the three months after the EU referendum, despite meeting representatives from the financial and banking sectors 35 times.
Later the same month, Dr Fox said the Government would want to take into account ‘a balance between UK producer and consumer interests’ when asked to provide reassurance to sheep farmers who face 40 per cent tariffs under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
A source at the Department for International Trade said: “Discussions with the US about our future trading relationship are at a very early stage.
“It would be inappropriate to go into the specifics of what position the UK might take in individual areas.
“We are committed to mutually beneficial economic arrangements with the US which benefit UK consumers and companies.”