AN SNP MP has condemned a Conservative for risking a “race to the bottom” on post-Brexit food standards by talking up the benefits chlorinating chicken.

Tory MP Bill Wiggin told the Commons chlorination “is not the monster that it’s made out to be” as he advocated for farmers to use the chemical element to treat their chicken.

SNP MP Deidre Brock pointed out that chlorinating chicken was often used to compensate for poor welfare standards that can lead to dangerous bacteria developing in meat for human consumption.

Opening the exchange, North Herefordshire MP Wiggins said: “I have huge, huge numbers of poultry producers in my constituency. And the nightmare for them is campylobacter, which causes food poisoning and kills people. It kills about six people a year through food poisoning.

“If we chlorinate our chicken we should save those lives. Do not be fooled by the chlorination argument.”

He added: “Chlorinated chicken is not the monster that it’s made out to be.”

Commenting after the Commons session, Brock said: “The fact that some Tories are flirting with a race to the bottom on food standards post-Brexit should ring alarm bells in our world-class agriculture sector.”

The SNP’s shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary continued: “Flooding our food market with chlorinated chicken was once a threat as part from a Tory-Trump US trade deal, but for a Tory MP to advocate washing our own chicken in chlorine to overcome issues in the production chain is a step too far.”

Ahead of Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK last summer, National Farmers’ Union president Minette Batters said agreeing a deal with the US which involves importing chemically washed products would be a “betrayal of British farmers”.

Brock added: “Producers have been consistently shafted by this Tory government, with a lack of clarity on post-Brexit funding and last-minute fix-ups to deliver emergency farm payments.

Scotland’s farming industry deserves better than this – it’s time for the Tories to listen to the industry and rule out.”