Woody Johnson, we’re right to be wary of chlorinated chicken. It’s too late for the US, but not for Britain

Please send your letters to letters@independent.co.uk

Sunday 03 March 2019 15:17 GMT
Michael Gove defends lack of post-Brexit protection against chlorinated chicken in agriculture bill

We should all listen very carefully to Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK. He claims that criticism of US agricultural standards are “smears” fabricated by people “with their own protectionist agenda”.

Well, those protectionists would be Brexiteers and Trump supporters. Remainers are not protectionists: they understand, I think, the value and breadth of the EU trade body. So, Johnson fails right there.

He keeps digging. Claims that any trade deal with the US would lead to chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-pumped beef on our supermarket shelves are, apparently, “inflammatory”.

Well, does the US wash its dead chicken with chlorine or not? That’s not inflammatory; it’s a simple question. If it does, and I think we know it does, why is its animal welfare so appalling that this is then a public health necessity?

Does the US routinely allow growth hormones to be injected into its cattle? I think we know it does. Why on earth should those hormones be allowed enter the food chain?

The EU is not perfect in terms of animal welfare but, if we were a member, we could fight to influence it for the good. We don’t have a hope in hell of influencing the US.

The absolute killer for me was Johnson’s comment that washing chicken with chlorine was the same process that EU farmers use to wash their fruit and vegetables.

No apples were harmed in issuing of that view. Or is that too subtle for the oh-so-very protectionist American ambassador?

Beryl Wall
London W4

Failing Grayling

In yesterday’s Letters, Gavin Turner asked why Chris Grayling is still in the cabinet despite having cost the British taxpayer somewhere in the region of £500m as a result of his failed schemes.

At the time of writing there are three good reasons why he has not been sacked:

Firstly, Theresa May cannot afford to be seen to sack someone who so abjectly parrots her line about why her Brexit plan is viable.

Secondly, it is really helpful to comedy writers that his name so appropriately rhymes with “failing”, so failing Grayling sounds quite witty, whereas failed Grayling, whilst a better description, is not so intrinsically funny.

Finally, and probably the real reason: by keeping him in the cabinet, the Tory government can easily make the rest of the cabinet look effective, intelligent and successful. His departure would simply expose the rest of them for the useless incompetents that they are.

John Broughton

The only way is no deal

Imagine my surprise when I heard that Jacob Rees-Mogg will be OK with Theresa May’s UK sellout “deal”... if she just adjusts the Irish Backstop “a bit”.

The Irish Backstop is a shameless ruse, a bargaining chip, a bone that can be tossed to the anti-EU hardliners. But one must also wonder how many millions of pounds are being “gifted” to our MPs.

While practically the whole parliament is pro-EU – politicians love ripping off and enslaving the masses – the real problem with May’s “deal” is the £39bn extortion payment and being chained to the thugs in Brussels indefinitely.

The only proper Brexit is the no-deal variety. That’s what we voted for, that is what we want. There is nothing “disastrous” about it. MPs can then negotiate to their hearts’ content.

Membership by any other name is still membership.

Fred Nicholson

The church is open now

Nice Editor’s Letter yesterday from Joel Dimmock.

The sign at our church door says “open for prayer”, which irritates me a little, because the church is famous for its stained glass windows designed by Edward Burne-Jones!

Paul Warren

Search engine optimisation

From today’s Editor’s Letter: “If you want to get ahead of the game in all things SEO and social media, you need to be a scheduling guru.”

What, pray, is an “SEO”? I confess to not being an acronym guru.

Ron Westmaas

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More on Premiership Rugby please

I love the paper and have subscribed since its inception but, as a rugby fan, the coverage is shockingly poor.

You cover football matches from teams at all levels (and performances), often with more than just one article, but fail to report on the exciting state of the rugby union English Premiership.

I’m a Bristol fan and they had an amazing win at the weekend. Where’s the roundup of this and the other games? Please include rugby union (and league) reports in the future.

Mike Wells
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