Chlorinated chicken? Yes, we really can have too much trade | George Monbiot


Britain should not be forced to accept lower US food standards. But this is only a small part of the harm done by globalisation

• George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

What’s wrong with chlorinated chicken? It’s not as if chlorine is absent from our lives: we drink it in our tapwater every day. Surely it’s a small price to pay for the trade deal with the US that the British government seeks?

There are several answers to this question, ranging from the instrumental to the existential. Let’s begin with the immediacies. Washing chicken carcasses with chlorine allows farmers and processors to save the money they might have spent on systemic sanitation throughout the chicken’s life and death. You need only dunk the meat in a chlorine bath to kill any accumulated germs.

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