A PETITION calling on the government to introduce laws to protect high food standards in the UK has attracted more than 15,000 signatures writes Joanna Davis.

The NFU launched a petition demanding legislation to guarantee food standards and that the UK will not import food that would be illegal to produce within the country.

As of mid-March, the petition had gained more than 15,000 signatures.

In response to this sign of support, NFU president Minette Batters said: "This is yet another clear signal that the public do not want to see food on their plates that has been produced far below the high standards they expect of British farmers.

"In such a short amount of time, thousands of people have demonstrated their support for government legislating that our high standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety will not be compromised by imports.

"We have the opportunity now to promote our sustainable, climate-friendly food across the world and I am eager to work with government to achieve this ambition.

"I would urge anyone who shares these values to sign this petition and send a simple message to government that they want all food eaten in the UK, whether it is in our homes, schools, hospitals, restaurants or shops, to match the high standards expected of our farmers."

The petition comes in advance of post-Brexit trade negotiations between the United States and the United Kingdom.

A statement on the petition reads: "I want the food I eat to be produced to world leading standards. Our Government should ensure that all food eaten in the UK – whether in our homes, schools, hospitals, restaurants or from shops – is produced in a way that matches the high standards of production expected of UK farmers.

"I believe the UK Government should seize the opportunities of 'Global Britain' to promote sustainable models of production and consumption across the world.

"Farming throughout the UK has high standards of safety and welfare with an ambition to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. There are very strict controls on farming methods allowed in the UK and I expect the same of all food which is imported here so the food I eat is as safe, traceable and produced to high welfare and environmental standards.

"Before the UK begins to negotiate trade deals with countries around the world, I call on the UK Government to put into law rules that prevent food being imported to the UK which is produced in ways that would be illegal here."

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