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Consumers should have choice to buy chlorinated chicken, says Defra scientist
Sir Ian said that, in terms of health, “there really isn’t a problem with chlorinated chicken”.

Sir Ian Boyd believes there are no related health problems

Defra chief scientist Sir Ian Boyd says that consumers should be able to choose whether they are allowed to buy chlorinated chicken.

In an interview with Sky News, Sir Ian said that, in terms of health, “there really isn’t a problem with chlorinated chicken”. He believes the problem concerns animal welfare and production processes, “and that is a values-based choice that people need to make.”

“My view is that we need to be allowed to make that choice,” he said. “But it is the job of the people like me to make sure that we explain as clearly as possible what the consequences of different choices are for people.”

Sir Ian also disputed the idea that eating hormone-treated beef may have adverse effects on human health.

“The chances are that most if it will have been metabolised when it comes into the meat you would eat,” he said. “The chances of it having any biological effect on us is almost infinitesimally small.”

Chlorine-washed chicken - washing chicken in chlorinated water to remove harmful bacteria - is banned in the EU. The ban has prevented virtually all US imports of chicken meat treated in this way.

In recent months, however, there has been much discussion about chlorinated chicken and its place in any post-Brexit trade deal with the US. UK farming leaders fear this could lead to the lowering of food production standards.

Speaking to BBC News, National Farmers Union (NFU) president Minette Batters said US farmers could “outcompete” British farmers should any trade deal be reached, and called on the government to provide reassurance to farmers:

"Are we going to hold our nerve or are we going to be sacrificed?" she said. "We need that assurance from the prime minister."

The NFU has called on the Government to enshrine EU regulations on food production in law after Brexit. However, this has not yet been agreed.

 

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.