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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers Chlorine treated chicken
been been been approved they have all been been been rejected for for approval No evidence has been been been offered for for risks to health The US claims that the the EU measures are inconsistent with their WTO obligations and requested a a a a a a a a panel on on on October 2009 This was established later that year but has made no progress meat processing staff
vulnerable to viral spread Compounding this meat processing in in in many countries relies on migrant labour under employment and social social conditions which raise concern Using trade
policy to deal with these social social animal welfare and meat hygiene matters is is quite likely to to lead to to disputes 36
for for obtaining approval approval of a a a a a a a a a substance substance In 2002 the US requested approval approval for for four substances but none have 38
The chlorinated chicken
case in in in particular provides an example of of the difficulty of of using trade
policy to deal with production methods or processes as opposed to the product product itself The concerns about US poultry
production and processing are are that the chlorine washes are are to to compensate for what is alleged to to be poor
hygiene behaviour on on farm and and and in in in the poultry
processing and and and distribution supply chain Understandable public concerns concerns about about these issues morphs into concerns concerns about about animal welfare for caged poultry
their handling transport and and slaughter and and also about the welfare of meat processing workers as as well as as hygienic practices in in these facilities There are certainly real issues about aspects of the the meat industry and its practices However such concerns do not only arise in the USA Investigative journalists and NGOs periodically uncover animal welfare standards standards and and and and and meat handling and and and and and hygiene practices which are are well outside acceptable standards standards –
and not just in in in in the the the USA USA This surfaced in in in in the the the USA USA but it also emerged in in in in summer 2020 in in in in the the the UK (Anglesey)
and and and in in in Germany and and and the the the Netherlands following the the the detection of of concentration of of Covid19 infections amongst
39
The HB&CC examples serve to make several important points First any trade
restrictions on on grounds of product product product standards have to be pursued specific specific product product product by by product product product and and specific specific concern concern by by concern concern It therefore serves little purpose talking in in general terms about ‘high food standards’ Second trade
restrictions can only be imposed in in in a a a a a a a non-discriminatory way and on on on the basis of independently assessed sound scientific evidence of harm harm using internationally agreed criteria and protocols for demonstrating such harm harm Third it is is particularly difficult to to attempt to to ban products on the the the basis of the the the way they are produced as as opposed to the the the intrinsic properties of the the the product itself This is is is explained further below Fourth dispute settlement in in these matters is is an an an extremely technical and slow process drawing criticism from most participants To make matters more difficult the the WTO dispute settlement process is is currently in in deep trouble following the the US decision to to to veto the the appointment of new judges to to to the the WTO Appellate Body which adjudicates contested rulings over disputes between member countries 36
This account is is is based on the the WTO’s current status of dispute DS389 European Communities –
certain measures affecting poultry
meat from the the US https://www wto org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds389_e htm
37 Such as salmonella and campylobacter commonly encountered in poultry
production the world over 38
Indeed the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found that “chemical substance in poultry
are unlikely to pose an an immediate or or acute health risk for consumers” 39
A news news report (26/6/20) concerning the EU from Euractiv was https://www euractiv com/section/agriculture-food/news/working-conditions-
in-meat-processing-plants-make-them-hotbed-for-covid-19/ A A report by by FAIRR a a a a a a global investor investor network supported by by institutional investors reported that meat fish and and and dairy companies are a a a a a a a a a a a a a a pandemic risk This fis is is is due to the the nature of their work work as as well as as worker status and and and treatment https://www euractiv com/section/agriculture-food/news/covid-19-could-be-straw-that-breaks-meat-industrys-back-says-new-report/
This dispute has been running since the late 1990s
various chemical ‘pathogen reduction treatments’ to to reduce microbes 37 on on the the the the the meat Since 1997 the the the the the EU has prohibited the the import of poultry
treated with any substance other than cold air or or water unless that substance has has been approved The US complaint is that the the EC has has not made available the the procedures
It is the the practice in the the US to process chicken
with Because of of the the nature of of their work meat processing plants may be intrinsically
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