SCOTS could end up with chlorinated chicken, hormone-injected beef and genetically modified vegetables on their plates if the UK Government holds onto key devolved powers even for a temporary period, campaigners have warned.

The alert was issued after Cabinet Office minister David Lidington published a list of 24 policies areas currently at the centre of a dispute between the UK and Scottish Governments.

Animal health and welfare, food safety, GM crops, air quality and pesticide control are among the devolved areas Lidington wants Westminster to take responsibility for until frameworks in these areas are established there for the whole of the UK.

It is feared that the Conservative Government would overturn existing safeguards made in Holyrood and in Brussels in a bid to get a trade deal with the US, which has lower standards in a raft of areas including animal welfare and food safety. It also allows the growth of GM crops.

“The list of powers that the UK government is suggesting it could take back from Scotland could have very real effects on our everyday lives – particularly when we look at this power grab alongside the possibility of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, which has many standards that are lower than ours,” said Liz Murray, head of Scottish campaigns at Global Justice Now.

“Under the UK government’s plan, Scotland may have to surrender its own powers over animal welfare, GM crops and food labelling.”

She added: “We would be very concerned that these standards could be then be sacrificed by the UK government in order to secure a trade deal with Trump.

“That could lead to chlorinated chicken, hormone fed beef and genetically modified veg on our plates. This really reinforces the need for Scotland to have a say over trade deals – and the way to make that happen is for the UK government’s Trade Bill to be amended to allow parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals by politicians in Westminster and here in Holyrood.

“We believe that the Scottish parliament should withhold its consent for the Trade Bill until it is amended accordingly.”

Pete Ritchie, executive director of food justice organisation Nourish Scotland, also warned that by taking control of farming subsidies Scottish farmers could find themselves worse off as the UK Government could adopt a uniform grant system of supporting hill farmers in remote areas of the Highlands, for instance, and those in fertile counties in the south west of England.

“At a time when the Scottish Government has announced its intention to make Scotland a Good Food Nation and a European leader in green farming, Westminster is threatening to take control of key powers,” he said.

“What this could look like on the ground is – over-ruling Scotland’s ban on growing GM crops and running agriculture policy and farm support from Westminster, from where the problems of Scotland’s upland family farms look very small indeed.”

Ritchie added if the power grab went ahead the Scottish Government may be forced to slow down its work on reducing food and plastic waste, including a deposit return scheme, and would miss out on being able to manage fisheries policy

He added: “This is a power grab that doesn’t just affect the politicians – it affects our power as citizens to determine the sort of food and farming system we want. Scotland already diverges from the rest of the UK on many of these issues, without any problems. Why do we suddenly need less democracy not more?”

Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said the point of devolution has been that relevant decisions would be made that suit the specific Scottish circumstances.

“Scotland is already different from the rest of the UK, with higher standards for air quality, tougher targets for climate change and different choices on dealing with waste,”he said. “The great fear is the UK will weaken the EU standards they inherit to do dodgy trade deals with the US and others. For ordinary people it means the prospect of food containing GM ingredients and pesticides that are currently banned, chemical additives in plastic products that are used in the US but currently illegal here and lower packaging standards that let the plastic waste mountain grow.”