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House of Commons Hansard
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30 June 2020
Volume 678

Establishment of a Food Standards Commission

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I rise to present a petition on the establishment of a food standards commission.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran,

Declares that the UK Government has not put proper safeguards in place to protect food standards post the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union; notes that the Government has rejected cross party amendments to the Agricultural Bill that aimed to protect standards of imports and ensure that any imports would not be able to undercut UK producers; further notes that leaving the European Union without a deal on 31 December 2020 will mean trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, and that the most favoured nation status will mean that the UK cannot prevent the import of hormone injected beef or chlorinated chicken from the US; further notes that the consumer group Which? has stated that a US trade deal poses the biggest risk to food standards since the BSE crisis and notes that the current deals struck by the EU provide the necessary protections; further declares that an extension to the transition period would create a short term protection against low standard imports, and that a Food Standards Commission with the remit of ensuring quality and welfare standards of food and drink imports in any trade deals could provide longer term protections for our farmers and growers in Scotland and the wider UK.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to consider the establishment of a Food Standards Commission to monitor any trade deals involving food and drink products and to protect UK welfare standards and value our farmers and growers who produce in Scotland and the wider UK.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002583]

Use of disposable barbecues

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As I am sure you know, Madam Deputy Speaker, single-use barbecues are designed to be disposable but are causing great risk to the forest environment, and local laws and regulations to prohibit and restrict their use have proved extremely difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

The petition states:

The Petition of Kate Collison and Janette Duke, residents of the New Forest District in Hampshire,

Declares that the use of disposable barbecues and their careless abandonment are a proven cause of wild fires; further declares that such wild fires not only risk human life but also cause devastation to wildlife and their habitat; notes that single use disposable barbecues comprise a tin foil tray filled with impregnated “easy light” charcoal with a wire mesh over; further notes that they are lightweight, can easily be carried to beauty spots, wildlife reserves, and beaches, and can be purchased for as little as £1.99 per unit; further notes they have no integral frame support so can be sat directly on the ground causing damage once lit; further notes they emit dangerous carbon monoxide fumes not only during use but also during the cooling process; further notes that whilst they are easy to carry prior to use they are almost impossible to carry away for many hours after use whilst they remain hot, meaning they are often left as litter with devastating consequences; further notes reports that fire services across the country have shown that these abandoned barbecues have been found in the areas where devastating fires have occurred, for example, Wareham Forest, which in May 2020, despite the efforts of 150 firefighters, burned for more than 3 days and devastated 470 acres of heath and woodland, with 11 portable barbecues subsequently found in the burn area; further notes that Chinese sky lanterns, which can pose a similar threat to wildlife and their habitat, were once seen as acceptable but are now recognised as irresponsible and dangerous; and further notes the related Change.org petitions on this matter from the same petitioners, which collectively have over 9,000 signatures.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to consider a ban on the sale of single use disposable barbecues within the United Kingdom.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002585]