Agricultural Bill

This Bill is currently passing through Parliament and you can see the timetable here https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2019-21/agriculture.html

Despite attempts to get a clause into the bill that would guarantee any imported food meets the same standards that apply to UK this has still not been included.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2020-05-13b.276.4&s=%28speaker%3A24910%29%20section%3Adebates#g321.0

The following gives an outline of some of the concerns which includes; imports of food from America and other countries that has been produced using hormones, pesticides and levels of antibiotics that are banned in this country. This food will end up on dinner plates in the UK.

https://agritradenews.co.uk/news/2020/05/15/agriculture-bill-amendments-to-protect-uk-standards-fail/

As our farmers would then be competing against these cheaper imports, there would start to be pressure to lower our standards. This would further lead to poorer quality food and standards of the lives of farm animals. The reason for higher use of antibiotics is because of the greater over-crowding of animals. They are often intensively farmed animals and the production methods mean that the climate impact is greater.

https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/meat-soya-fire-disease-amazon-rainforest-breaking-down/

America also allows the use of many pesticides that are banned in the EU and thus in the UK.

Jenny Jones has outlined some of the concerns:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/in-the-house-of-lords-the-agriculture-bill-is-creating-rebellion-and-dissent-on-a-large-scale

There has also been a surprise amendment to deregulate gene editing. This has been done in a way that has not allowed any proper scrutiny of the process.

https://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/19436-underhand-move-to-allow-gene-editing-in-uk-progresses-to-committee-stage

There are also concerns for sustainable farming and Natalie Bennett will be putting forward an amendment on this:

https://www.nataliebennett.org/latest/our-green-group-amendments-to-the-agriculture-bill

https://landworkersalliance.org.uk/an-update-on-the-ag-bill/

https://www.sustainweb.org/publications/toxic_trade

So what can we do? Make sure we keep the pressure on, this means emailing your MP, talking to people about it and raising awareness in any way possible. We were told that Brexit would make the UK better and that our food standards would be guaranteed.

https://wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk/features/farming-climate-change-health-biodiversity/new-model-farming

The trade secretary Liz Truss announced a new trade and agriculture commission on 29th June would set out “advisory” recommendations to ensure British farmers “do not face unfair competition and that their high animal welfare and production standards are not undermined”

As this is only advisory and we have seen this government ignore so much advice and research it cannot be relied on as a solution.

Chloe has made a video on some of the issues around animal welfare. Farm Animal Welfare and Chlorine Washed Chicken

https://youtu.be/a3-mPo9753s