• John Wolstenholme

The chlorinated chicken myth

Once again, today I was told the scare story that Brexit will result in a deluge of chlorinated chicken from the US. This could only happen if we alter our food standards. I am not aware of any political party that plans to alter current food standards. This is certainly not the policy of The Brexit Party.

At the risk of being called a boring scientist, it is probably worth pointing out that chlorine, or more correctly sodium hypochlorite, is already widely used across the EU, as a wash for fruit and vegetables (particularly salad crops), a surface steriliser in the food and catering industries, to sterilize babies' bottles and to treat wounds and other skin conditions. It is not currently used as a wash in the meat industry, because it is possible to achieve the necessary low levels of harmful bacteria by high standards of processing. The EU has no concerns that chlorination itself is dangerous in any way, it just believes that we can avoid using it on meat by other means. Before the use of sodium hypochlorite, thousands of people, mostly children, died of gastroenteritis.

Another Brexit scare story put about by the same people, is that we won't be able to import the chemicals used for treatment of our drinking water. I would have thought that logically they would be happy about this, as the active component in these treatments is also chlorine.

Best wishes


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