Ah, who can resist an American delicacy? KFC anyone – that’s Kentucky Fried Chlorine, if case you’re wondering.
Dr Liam Fox – the less than Fantastic Mr Fox – thinks we should all pipe down about this chlorinated chicken business. As the Brexit-besotted trade secretary, Fox accuses the media of being obsessed with concerns about chlorine-washed chicken being sold in Britain – “Americans have been eating it perfectly safely for years.” Oh yeah? Well, they can go on eating the vile stuff for years to come, so long as they don’t expect us to stomach the it.
This enthusiasm for chemically douched chicken put Fox at odds with the new environment secretary Michael Gove, who says there will be no loosening of “any environmental standards whatsoever”. Thank heavens for that Gove man – not a common sentiment around these parts, or in any parts where normal human beings congregate, but there you go. You look for friends where you can find them when chlorinated chickens come home to roost.
In case you’re wondering why Americans spray their chickens in chlorine, it’s because it kills bacteria on the meat after slaughter to risk contamination from the bird’s digestive tract. This is said to allow less strict slaughtering rules, and is banned in the EU.
Donald Trump – that chlorine-washed president – accused the EU of being “very protectionist with the US – STOP!” He said that in a tweet, as always, because that’s what he does for speaking.
The thing about protectionism is that the word ‘protect’ is in there. If the EU wishes to protect us from chicken dunked in chlorine, then good on them. And if Britain comes to regrettable deals with the dodgy deal maker, we may find that Europe won’t accept our food.
Well, I’m not going to be buying any chlorinated chicken. It’s bad enough seeking through the shelves for free-range chicken, never mind checking the bird hasn’t flown in from American on a cloud of chemicals.
America allows all sorts of regrettable practices, including injecting synthetic growth hormones under the skin of beef cattle and high levels of antibiotics.
They can keep their rotten chicken; they can keep their rotten hooligan of a president, with his distracting blizzard of tweets and stupid remarks. I will carry on looking for free-range chicken from Britain. Importing chickens all the way from the US is bonkers anyway on environmental terms, isn’t it?
So US chicken won’t be on my menu.