MP defends decision on Agricultural Bill
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Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has defended the UK Government’s position on food and animal welfare standards after criticism of a vote on the Agriculture Bill on Monday evening.
Campaigners have claimed that the rejection of a Lords amendment could lead to food produced to a lower standard entering the British food chain.
However, Mr Duguid has said that standards for food produced, sold and imported in the UK, are already enshrined in existing law.
The MP for Banff and Buchan, said: “The Lords amendment was written with the best of intentions, but it would not have had the effect that people were led into believing by reports in the media.
“In fact, it would have damaged export opportunities for Scotland’s own high quality food and drink producers, as well as having a negative impact on food imports and potentially driving up prices for consumers.
“The suggestion that I voted to lower food standards or to allow food produced to a lower standard to enter the UK food chain is categorically untrue.
“No food standards or animal welfare standards were lowered as a result of Monday night’s vote.
“Legislation covering the standard of food produced, sold and imported into the UK is covered by retained EU law, which was transposed into UK law by the EU Withdrawal Act.
“Any change to those laws would require an additional Act of Parliament to be passed.
"That has not happened – and, with the public opinion clearly against the lowering of such standards, is very unlikely to happen.
“This government is fully committed to maintaining the UK’s high food and animal welfare standards, and we have said repeatedly that the ban on products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef will continue in UK law.“