Eight in ten Brits think it’s unacceptable for the UK to allow the import of chlorinated chicken from the US, according to a new poll.
YouGov polled people about potential changes that could come with a new trade deal with US, finding that the majority of people thought it would be unacceptable for the UK to accept lower quality food imports in return for a deal.
According to the results, 80% of Britons thought it would be unacceptable for chlorine-washed chicken to be sold in the UK. Just 8% said it would be acceptable while 12% said they didn’t know.
The UK had previously said it would not accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of a trade deal but in February Environment Secretary George Eustice refused to rule out chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef being imported from the US in a post-Brexit deal.
The issue has sparked concern across the board. Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said the government would be “morally bankrupt” to let global trade deals undermine UK food standards.
According to the YouGov poll, 80% of respondents also thought it was unacceptable for the UK to receive hormone-fed chicken, while 75% disagreed with dairy products treated with antibiotics being supplied to the UK and 79% saying vegetables grown with pesticides banned in the EU would be unacceptable.
Less than ten percent of adults said that any of the four categories listed would be acceptable.
According to the poll, men are universally more in favour of changes to the quality of products in the UK than women — in the case of chlorinated chicken they are four times more likely to approve (13% versus 3% of women).
The issue of chlorinated chicken also seems to differ depending on politics, with Conservative voters more likely to approve, according to the poll.
When it comes to the issue, 15% of Conservative voters said it is acceptable, compared to only 3% of Labour voters and 4% of Liberal Democrats.