Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they give to British travellers to the United States of America on the risks of eating (1) chicken which has been subject to a pathogen reduction treatment, and (2) hormone-fed beef.

    Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: My Lords, the Government do not offer advice on this specific matter to British travellers. The Foreign Office keeps our travel advice under constant review and ensures that it reflects the most relevant risks to British nationals travelling overseas. All travel advice pages signpost to expert travel health advice from UK health bodies.

    Lord Lilley: Is not the real reason for not issuing a health warning that American chicken and beef pose no health risks? Indeed, there are fewer salmonella and campylobacter cases in America than in Europe. Has this scare not been concocted by anti-Americans who want to sabotage a potential UK-US trade deal? They will not succeed because 90% of US chicken is not washed with chlorine, which anyway poses no health risks, and American animal welfare standards are no lower than in eastern Europe, Thailand and Brazil, from which we currently import chicken and beef. Should we not focus on the opportunities a US deal could offer British farmers, manufacturers and financial services?

    Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park: Each country must make its own decision on a range of issues based on its own individual circumstances and attitude to risk. As my noble friend will know, we have legislated by the withdrawal Act 2018 against the use of artificial growth hormones in domestic production and imported meat products. Our legislation also prohibits the use of anything other than potable water to decontaminate poultry carcasses. Any changes would require new legislation. It is important to note that the approach we follow in this country, which I believe consumers want, is one where animals are reared in a way that does not necessitate chlorine treatment to be made safe.

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