News / Sustainable Farming Campaign

US food standards? “Over my dead body,” says Gove

Secretary of State Michael Gove MP has said that the UK would accept US food standards “over my dead body”, in an interview with good food advocate Rosie Boycott at the Hay Festival, 2018.

Photo credit: Hay Festival 2018

Photo credit: Hay Festival 2018

A transcript of the question and answer is as follows:

  • Rosie Boycott: “You’re saying that we will never have standards in this country which would permit the wholesale import of a load of American food?”
  • Michael Gove: “Well, er, I’ve been clear…”
  • [Audience laughter]
  • Rosie Boycott: “Is that a fact?”
  • Michael Gove: “Over my dead body, as it were.”

A video clip from the interview is available from the Hay Festival on Twitter

Michael Gove's comments follow challenges in a Farmers Guardian interview that he was intent on pursuing a cheap food policy and valuing environmental gains over food production. In response, Michael Gove said: “If you are valuing the environment you cannot really be an advocate of cheap food. The two almost knock each other out.

“Food that is produced cheaply abroad actually created an environmental and other cost that someone has to bear.

“The truth is we want high quality food.”

Several Sustain members, and food industry representatives, also attended a meeting in early May to explore Michael Gove’s stated idea of a ‘gold standard’ label for British food. There was a general feeling that this could be used to sell the British food brand abroad, should encompass ethical and sustainability criteria, and should build on existing standards not reinvent the wheel.

Published 25 May 2018

Sustainable Farming Campaign: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.

Latest related news

Action

Tell Boris no #ChildHealthUTurn

Support our campaign

Your donation will help us work with farmers to push for policies to support farming fit for our future.

Donate

Sustain
The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777
sustain@sustainweb.org

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2022
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies

Sustain