With so much at stake during the pandemic, and in the run up to the end of the Brexit transition period, we ran our first EHN Extra opinion poll. It ran over three weeks in August and 265 of you generously responded. Here is what you told us about food standards and security.
The pandemic has illustrated the frailty of our modern ‘just in time’ food supply system, with shortages of basic supplies and price inflation exacerbating anxiety over plans to gamble with existing supply deals and food standards in post-transition trade deals.
EHPs hold huge concerns over these issues, and large majority would have liked the recently announced National Food Strategy to have recommended that existing food standards be upheld in all future trade deals.
Only a small number disagreed with this (5%) with more not having an opinion (10%). Slightly more private sector EHPs agreed with this statement (93%) compared to public sector officers (85%).
Both public and private sectors were very worried about weakening food standards (59% in each) post-transition, and slightly concerned (31% and 21% respectively). A very small number working across the public sector were not concerned at all (6%) though more in the private sector (21%).
A sizeable minority of EHPs felt existing food standards were about the right level (42%), with a decent number feeling that standards could do with a bit of tweaking in areas (38%). Some people felt standards ought to be made higher (13%), and very few felt they were already too stringent (1%).
Anxiety around food security after the Brexit transition period was revealed with EHPs either slightly concerned (40%) or very concerned (44%). Very few said they had no concerns (11%) and a small number had no opinion (5%).
* The majority of those responding were living in England (90%), with smaller numbers living in Wales (6%), Scotland (1.5%), and Northern Ireland (1.5%). Public sector workers comprised the majority (72%) followed by private sector (11%), with some identifying as working in other sectors (17%).
What you told us
“Food standards are being pulled apart with secret trade deals and being connected to America for food imports is shocking”
“Talking about food standards, what the heck happened to the whole horsemeat scandal? Talk about brushed under the carpet. Only three prosecutions? For four years max? This needs to change”