Readers' letters - March 5

US threat to food safety and animal welfare rules

Friday, 9th March 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Friday, 9th March 2018, 2:55 pm
Is there a threat to food safety and animal welfare rules?

It should come as no surprise that right-wing Brextremists and the US dairy industry are conspiring together to weaken food safety and environmental standards post-Brexit. Lower quality American milk and dairy products from cows with udder infections could be forced on British consumers, if the US industrialised mega-farm dairy industry get their way. Meanwhile, a coalition of conservative think tanks, pushing for a free trade agreement which adopts weaker US standards, could result in chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef finding their way on to our menus.For many right-wing Conservatives, Brexit has always been about tearing up EU standards on food safety, environmental protection and animal welfare, under the guise of freeing the UK from ‘red tape’. Which is why farmers are right to be sceptical of Michael Gove’s pledges on retaining high food, environmental and animal welfare standards.Any trade agreement with the US, which allows for the import of food and drugs produced without current EU standards and protections, will threaten the viability of our small-scale farmers and food producers. They simply could not compete with the mega-farms and giant corporations of the US.As the risks of a Tory Brexit become ever more apparent, Greens are stepping up our demand for a final say – a referendum on the deal between the UK and EU, with the option to retain all the protections that membership of the EU offers.Molly Scott Cato MEPAgriculture Committee European Parliament Brussels

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Party politics not helped workersThe party system has given the working man nothing.All we seem to do is lurch from left to right, there is no forward planning whatsoever.One party puts forward a scheme and spends millions of pounds, then when the other party gets in, it is scrapped.This happens on defence spending all the time.We sell off the family silver, transport, power station, the National Grid, gas, water, then we find that this does not work, because the taxpayer has to subsidise profits for the transport and power generation companies, all or mostly foreign-owned. So we vote the other party in. They are going to buy all the family silver back? Who pays again? Yes, it’s the working man. One big merry-go-round.There should be a 10-year, 20-year and 30-year plan on capital spending, agreed by all parties, and adhered to. This way money should be spent more wisely. But what other system is out there? Proportional representation? No big swings from left to right? As for lobbyists, they should not be allowed anywhere near an MP or councillor. It has taken over 30 years to get a plain packet of cigarettes on to the market and it took even longer for asbestos to be banned. And who pays? Again it’s the working man. Party politics was a good idea at the time, but not any more.Jim SmithAddress suppliedAim for health and happiness

Capping energy prices will benefit 11 million people. Capping speed limits will benefit the planet.Smart meters can save energy. Speed limiters can save both energy and lives.With safer roads, more people will ride (carbon-neutral, fat-burning) bicycles and save both money and the NHS. With affordable transport, we get affordable homes and happy families.Genetic profiling can identify life-limiting illnesses.Psychological profiling can identify life-limiting drivers. Speed limiters and psychological profiling will prevent terrorists from speeding down crowded streets. In the 21st Century – the age of technological solutions – speed limiters and psychological profiling is surely the superhighway to health and happiness, if not peace.A drive for health and happiness should be our goal. Not a slave-driving, life-limiting drive for wealth.Allan RamsayAddress suppliedPinocchios in government

It is sad to see that the retiring White House communications director, Hope Hicks, has admitted that she was, at times, required to tell white lies.There are no such things as lies of any colour – a lie is a lie. There may be times when answers cannot be supplied for a number of reasons but this should be stated.The Pinocchios in government must have trouble keeping themselves balanced with the length of their extended wooden noses.Dennis Fitzgeraldvia email