The less exacting food safety standards in the USA, compared to those in EU member states, have come under scrutiny as politicians, commentators and indeed voters begin to consider if the consequences of a trade deal with those Stateside will really be worth the candle. This has led to much media discussion, to the clear discomfort of those out on the right, who would rather everyone else just look over there instead.
He speaks, he lies, he scores not
One of those who wants us to be distracted is the congenitally dishonest Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, who has heard US standards attracting severely adverse comment and does not like it one bit. So he has taken out his dog whistle and lied through his expensively maintained teeth.
After Sky News told “Sir [Keir Starmer] says that [Jeremy Corbyn] is pointing out ‘real worries about food standards’ by saying there 'will be maggots in orange juice' following a trade deal with the US”, Adam Bienkov of Business Insider added “US food regulations allow one maggot per 250 ml of juice, up to 30 insect fragments per 100-gram jar of peanut butter, 11 rodent hairs per 25g of paprika and 3 milligrams of mammalian excretaer per pound of ginger”. That’s rat crap. And you’ve been caught.
Teaboy Tom wasn’t having that. “Does anyone seriously believe Corbyn's claim that US food is somehow maggot infested and poisonous, but Romanian /Bulgarian food is the pinnacle of cleanliness?” Dog whistle, anyone? Not France, Germany, Austria or Spain, but “Romanian [and] Bulgarian”. And there was more in the same vein.
“Labour's scaremongering sounds too ridiculous to be true, because it is - and they know it. Brazenly post truth”. The problem for Harwood is that the article he cites contains this nugget: “This isn’t to say that a US trade deal won’t lead to lowered standards or increased rat-poo concentrations. Perhaps it will”. But he was off and running.
“US standards on contaminates are /more stringent/ than EU. US law outlines a hard limit on contaminates over which automatic prosecution occurs. That's /on top/ of normal due diligence. In EU countries, companies just have to argue they did their best to keep contaminates out”. This is, sad to say, total bullshit. Here’s what Full Fact has to say.
“In terms of food regulation, the UK (which follows EU rules) currently has ‘vastly different’ and significantly more stringent sanitary and animal welfare standards than the USA. This means we can’t currently import certain foods from the USA as they don’t meet our standards (‘chlorinated chicken’ is a commonly referenced case in point)”.
And on his dog whistle, Jim Felton responded “Romania and Bulgaria are bound by the same EU food standards that we are. Is there any reason you picked those two countries rather than us or e.g. France in particular as being unclean or are you merely doing a big old racism?” Carole Cadwalladr added “Did you suggest Romania & Bulgaria, Tom, for the relatively high proportion of gypsies in their populations? It’s true that Nazi propaganda did depict them - like Jews - as ‘dirty’ so you may be on to something here”.
Nick Wellings was just plain sceptical. “Who fed you this bilge to post, Tom? Some disciplines of Bannon? Coming from someone who doesn't even know how to use a train properly, I think I know who to trust. (Hint: it's not you…)”. BUSTED. Another fine mess.
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