October 1st, 2020 Newsletter

Ask your MP to Vote Against Substandard Food Imports

Now that the House of Lords has voted to add a vital amendment that would ban imports of substandard food into the UK, the Agriculture Bill returns to the Commons. There is every chance the Tory majority will overturn the Lords’ decision unless we exert massive pressure on our Conservative MPs.

By ignoring the pleas from Lords, MPs, celebrities, chefs and charities plus an overwhelming majority of the public, Tory MPs, in their desperation for a US/UK trade deal, will be sacrificing our food standards and the security and livelihoods of our skilled farmers on the altar of so-called free trade. In reality, these trade agreements are a race to the bottom as animal welfare, food safety and environmental regulations are reduced to the lowest common denominator, leaving competing corporate giants to take farmers’ profits while externalising their true costs onto the broader community.

Please send an email to your local MP by filling in your postcode on the Sustain website. Sustain already includes a template email to work from, or you can use our template email instead. Remember, a letter with some of your own words is more likely to reach the MP.


🤔 What else can you do?

Please sign our petition asking Greggs to commit to not source any pork imports produced below the UK legal minimum standards. Leslie Ash is the latest celebrity to join Dominic West and Jerome Flynn to make a statement. She says:

Leslie Ash, Actor

The overuse of antibiotics these days is having a profound effect on the ability of humans to fight off deadly infections. I’ve had MSSA (closely related to MRSA) but I was lucky and my body was able to fight the infection and my immune system worked very hard with the antibiotics and literally saved my life. Our immune system is what we rely on to stay alive and fight off deadly infections and viruses such as COVID-19. Antibiotics can cure bacterial diseases, unless those diseases become antibiotic-resistant from antibiotic over-use.

That’s why I was so distressed to learn that in intensive factory farming, distressed animals are pumped with large amount of antibiotics to ward off infections they contract from being kept in dirty, tiny pens where some of these animals are never able to turn around during their short lives. These pens become a breeding ground for antibiotic resistant bacteria that pass to pigs and also to the workers and neighbours.

If you care about you and your family’s health, then you should care about what you are eating. Tell your local high street food chain not to supply cheap, sub-standard meat imported from the USA where pigs are given three times more antibiotics than pigs in the UK.

Greggs, Say NO to Trump’s Toxic Food Deal!

Sign the Petition

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Look out for our campaign featured in The Mail on Sunday this weekend.

💰 Corporates, politics and direct action

The extremely powerful US meat lobby is dictating the terms of the secretly-negotiated UK/US trade deal and is demanding “comprehensive market access for US agricultural goods in the UK”. DeSmog has created a brilliant map of the meetings that have occurred, funding and involvement of Big Ag and Oil & Gas giants in UK/US trade talks.

On one side is Trump, the US meat lobby and the Tories, on the other side are UK consumers, farmers and animals who will suffer the effects of substandard imports, much of it produced by US pork giant Smithfield Foods. This week Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) activists shut down Smithfield slaughterhouses in California and Mexico. They are demanding an immediate moratorium prohibiting the construction of new factory farms and slaughterhouses in California, and a complete ban by 2025. #CancelAnimalAg’

😷 Pollution in Irish waters

Irish authorities have followed the same obsessive mantra of global trade by promoting factory-farmed meat exports, leaving a legacy of excessive animal waste running into local watercourses causing pollution and eutrophication of once-idyllic rivers. “We can measure the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water and see that intensive agriculture is significantly contributing to the algal blooms in the estuary.” says one of the scientists in a recent report.

We documented the effects of untreated factory farm waste on N.Ireland’s rivers while filming Pig Business in Northern Ireland.

👏 Solutions on Welsh farms

Swanbridge Porkers keeps free range Berkshire pigs roaming on 15 acres of pasture and woodland on the South Wales coast in the Vale of Glamorgan. The farmer Helen Joy says that when COVID struck, fortunately her local merchant kept the feed supply chain running and gradually the breweries, where she sources grain, opened again. She also says COVID has been a catalyst for new customers choosing to buy their pork from her rather than from supermarkets.

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🔊 Tune in!

I will be speaking at the Slow Food zoom event on 9th of October 5-6pm, with Anthony Davison from BigBarn, talking about how we can fix the food industry. “How can we all get good, slow, food and enlighten consumers to make better, healthier, more sustainable, high animal welfare, food buying choices?” Book by visiting terramadrefringe.com.

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