James O'Brien Explains What Adopting US Food Standards Would Mean For The UK

1 October 2018, 13:27 | Updated: 1 October 2018, 14:24

Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested that Britons will see the benefit of Brexit immediately with lower food prices due to a reduction in regulation. James O'Brien explains what that actually means - and listeners were horrified.

Brexiteers have outlined how removing tariffs and regulation on food, which boosts prices, can help make Britain competitive once we leave the European Union.

But James pointed out what aligning ourselves with US food standards actually means.

He said: "The FDA allows up to 4% of a can of cherries to have maggots, 5% if they are brined or Maraschino. Up to one maggot or five fly eggs per 250ml of canned fruit juice is also allowed under American food regulations.

"These are the ones that you'll remember, people like Daniel Hannan and Liam Fox say we should be untroubled about being forced to adopt.

"Tomato juice is good, you can have up to five fly eggs and one maggot per 100g of tomato juice.

"And remember, this will be the cheap stuff, they won't be buying this. They won't be buying their cherries at the bottom end of the market, you will.

James O'Brien in the LBC studio
James O'Brien in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

"What else have we got? Fifteen fly eggs and one maggot per 100g is allowed for tomato paste and other pizza sauces. If you need a little bit of help with the measurements, 100g of be a small glass of tomato juice. That's five fly eggs and one maggot.

"Mushrooms are really sexy, mushrooms you can have twenty maggots of any size per 100g of drained mushrooms or per 15g of dried mushrooms. That's twenty maggots of any size.

"It means thatAmericans at the moment are on average are likely to ingest between one and two pounds, for imperial fans, pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year without knowing it.

"Now the FDA say that's safe and they're probably right and the future of protein consumption is probably going to involve more and more insects, so you're perfectly entitled to be comfortable with this, but is that really the will of the people?

"The will of the people is for us to ingest one to two pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year without knowing it? Well, yes according to people like Jacob Rees-Mogg, that is the will of the people and you knew you were voting for that, because the free trade deal with America that they keep trumpeting would involve us adopting their standards for food regulation.

"That would have looked great on the side of a bus, wouldn't it? We send £350m a week to the EU, why can't we eat one to two pounds of flies, maggots of mites each year instead."