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That American free trade deal on food sounds great to us

Summary:
Apparently we cannot have a free trade deal with America that includes food because we might end up with cheap and nutritious yummies on our tables. Ah, no, sorry, that’s not right, is it? We might end up being able to choose which food safety and production standards we insist producers accord to. Nope, still not right.Ah, yes, that’s it, others will not be able to impose their standards upon our consumption:Food safety in the UK and public confidence in it will be placed at risk if the government pursues a free-trade agreement with the US, a former Conservative environment minister has said.If imports of US-standard food were allowed, “you would have a huge decline in food safety,” said Lord Deben, now chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. “Food safety is a huge issue.”He said the

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Apparently we cannot have a free trade deal with America that includes food because we might end up with cheap and nutritious yummies on our tables. Ah, no, sorry, that’s not right, is it? We might end up being able to choose which food safety and production standards we insist producers accord to. Nope, still not right.

Ah, yes, that’s it, others will not be able to impose their standards upon our consumption:

Food safety in the UK and public confidence in it will be placed at risk if the government pursues a free-trade agreement with the US, a former Conservative environment minister has said.

If imports of US-standard food were allowed, “you would have a huge decline in food safety,” said Lord Deben, now chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. “Food safety is a huge issue.”

He said the US would stipulate allowing exports of its agricultural products to the UK in any free-trade agreement. “I know this – I’ve negotiated with them, for the whole of the EU,” he told the Guardian.

What is safe food - chlorine washed chicken, HFCS, cheap beef - to be decided by Lord Deben for the rest of us of course. In response an American has said:

The spokesman added: “American food is produced in a different way than food from the EU. The ultimate outcome, however, for the consumer is the same-high quality, safe food at a reasonable price.

“There is a wide range of agricultural techniques used in America. We are a world leader in farmland and products that are certified organic. Ninety-five per cent of US farms are family-owned.

“Consumers can choose to purchase products that are certified as free range, cage-free and cruelty-free if they desire. At the same time, individuals and families who may not able to afford food produced by these more expensive methods have access to a wide range of high-quality, safe, and nutritious food products.”

We cannot see anything wrong with the consumer being King. Those who eat the food being those who decide what standards - and price - the food they put upon their tables must meet.

We can see much wrong with not the consumer making the decision which is imposed upon said consumer. So, free trade - with labelling - in food it is then, sign up with that nice Mr. Trump immediately we’re allowed to through our exit from the EU.

Why not? After all, who is it that is supposed to decide these things in a free and liberal land? Us or them? We people or they rulers?

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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