Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-Op and M&S join boycott of chlorinated chicken from US

PUBLISHED: 16:59 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:57 09 July 2020

Prime minister Boris Johnson inspects the chickens. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/PA.

Prime minister Boris Johnson inspects the chickens. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S, and the Co-op have all pledged to never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef from the US in another blow to a post-Brexit deal with Donald Trump.

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They join Waitrose and Aldi in committing to only sell British food on its shelves.

Campaigners fear the UK will have to accept lower food standards - which could include chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef - if it wants to clench a deal with the US after Brexit.

Sainsbury's has announced it will not stock chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef from the US; Jacob KingSainsbury's has announced it will not stock chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef from the US; Jacob King

An Mark and Spencers spokesperson told Business Insider: “Our commitment to our customers and family of 10,000 British farmers has not and will not change.

“Our promise is that we only ever source our quality fresh food from Select Farmers we know and trust. That means our customers can be confident that we will never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef.”

Sainsbury’s and the Co-op issued similar guarantees.

“We are committed to upholding high standards for our customers and will never sell these products,” a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said.

A spokesperson for The Co-op said it was the supermarket’s “a clear policy to only source 100% British meat,” signalling another blow to US farmers.

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Aldi confirmed on Tuesday that it scrapped plans to stock meat products coming from the States.

Tesco said the supermarket’s position had not changed since its chief executive ruled out relaxing food standards in its stores last year.

Dave Lewis said back then: “There is no US sourcing of chicken on my mind.”

He added: “When people talk about let’s go back to genetically modified goods or chlorinated chicken, if you have that conversation with UK customers, then they reject it. As a retailer we will have to respect what people want.”

“Whatever the trade deals are we, like other retailers, will look at them, but what we won’t do is give up our standards as we look at those opportunities.”

MORE: ‘We don’t want chlorinated chicken’ - poll finds majority of Brits oppose weaker food standards under UK-US trade deal

The boycott signals another blow to post-Brexit trade talks with the US, which have been on-going for several weeks.

It also comes as MP’s from the prime minister’s own party urge not to accept US agricultural products that are a lower standard.

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