With the UK leaving the EU and seemingly pinning its hopes on a trade deal with the US, our friends from across the pond will be in a strong negotiating position. This will almost certainly mean that we will have to lift restrictions on food imports. Many American food products are banned by the EU, with animal products being the most stringently restricted due to them not reaching hygiene standards.
Following Brexit, the UK will no longer be obliged to follow these standards and any sort of trade deal will almost certainly be dependent on relaxing these standards. This will mean that we will begin to see meat from animals fed on a hormone and antibiotic rich diet, both of which are used to promote rapid growth.
Antibiotic Resistance is a growing concern around the world and certainly here in the UK (it is estimated that 80% of all antibiotics in the US go into animal feed) but to secure any sort of lucrative deal this may have to be overlooked. The practice has been linked to numerous health issues in humans and is cruel and unethical to artificially accelerate the life cycle of animals.
Chlorine-washed chicken may also find its way into our food supply. Chicken carcasses are “disinfected” with chlorine and other chemicals where hygiene standards are poor on the farms where they’re raised. Because the cost of providing improved welfare for these animals would eat into their bottom line, they chemical-wash they’re potentially infected carcasses.
With US food standards almost across the board lower than those in the EU, there’s probably never been a better time to go vegan.