Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver asks Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene to safeguard food

PUBLISHED: 17:07 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:07 05 June 2020

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver


Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver from Clavering has appealed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step in and stop changes that could impact food standards.

Mr Oliver says Mr Johnson has the power to stop changes to the Agriculture Bill, which would allow chlorinated chicken and low quality cheap food into the UK food chain.

Writing an open letter on his Facebook page, he has encouraged followers to sign a petition lodged on the National Farmers’ Union website.

The petition has already attracted more than 565,000 signatures.

The letter reads: “We could be about to open the floodgates to a whole raft of low-quality food that would normally be illegal in the UK.

“Chlorinated chicken is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re talking about genetically modified food, stuffing animals full of hormones and antibiotics, banned pesticides that kill our bees, and an avalanche of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

“We’ll be threatening the future of our farmers and food producers, who have worked so hard to keep us fed throughout the Covid-19 crisis.”

He reminded the Prime Minister the novel coronavirus most probably came from animal consumption – and urged Mr Johnson to use his power over MPs’ voting.

“It’s an opportunity to allow the UK to set the standard for sustainable food production, and to put public and child health at the true heart of government.

“I am incredibly concerned about the impact that bad trade deals could have on our children.”

The next critical debate on the Agriculture Bill will take place in the House of Lords on Wednesday, June 10.

Speaking to the Reporter, an NFU spokesman said: “We want to see the government set up a commission that reviews food trade agreements, so that British farmers aren’t undermined by food products in countries where it’s produced to lower standards and through cheaper methods.

“Historically, we have adhered to EU regulations and food standards, but British farmers want to adhere to those standards as much as possible when we leave the EU. We want to keep the high environmental and animal welfare when that happens. We think our standards shouldn’t be sacrificed in the pursuit of those trade deals.”

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