Food: Imports

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 15 February 2024.

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Photo of Carla Lockhart Carla Lockhart DUP, Upper Bann

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what provisions there are in recent free trade agreements to ensure imported food is produced to the UK standards.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

All food and drink products imported into the UK must comply with the UK’s import requirements and standards. The UK’s Free Trade Agreements do not create any new permissions for imports and do not compromise on the UK’s high environmental protection, animal welfare, plant health, and food standards.

The UK’s food safety standards are overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. Both provide independent advice to UK Health ministers. Alongside other government agencies, they oversee the regulation of imported food and feed to ensure that it complies with the UK’s high safety standards, protect ing consumers from unsafe food.

Without exception, the UK will continue to protect food standards in the UK under all existing and future Free Trade Agreements. Decisions on these standards remain a matter for the UK and will be made separately from any trade agreements. The Prime Minister has been clear that there will be no chlorine-washed chicken and no hormone-treated beef on the UK market.

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