November 19, 2019
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‘Rat hairs & maggots’: Corbyn warns BoJo’s post-Brexit trade deal with Trump would lead to increased food contamination Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has blasted Britain’s PM Boris Johnson over his plans for a trade deal with US President Donald Trump, which he argues will lead to “rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice.”

Johnson has long-alluded to a post-Brexit trade deal with Trump, however, many critics bemoan the dearth of food standards in the US compared with the European Union, citing a recent investigative from Business Insider which found some alarming for food standards in the US. 

“Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where ‘acceptable levels’ of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves,” Corbyn told an assembled crowd in Essex.

Producers in the US are allowed to include insect fragments in peanut butter, rodent hairs in paprika, and rat excrement in ginger, while no such allowances are made under EU rules and regulations. 

The ‘Defect Levels Handbook’ that establishes food standards in the US also gives maximum limits for the number of foreign bodies in food, including up to 30 insect fragments in a 100-gram jar of peanut butter, 11 rodent hairs in certain spice containers, as well as a ratio of rodent feces that was acceptable to include in a pound of ginger. 

Naturally, reaction online was one of disgust, revulsion and disbelief.

Though not everyone was so convinced by the revolting reports or the selective outrage over food standards in the US when there are questionable sources within the EU or within the UK itself, most notably the horse meat scandal which rocked food suppliers across western Europe in 2013. 

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Conrad Contributor