Duchess of Sussex reveals fears about US food systems

The Duchess of Sussex voiced concerns about American food production practices during celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales.

Patrick Holden, a campaigner for organic food and a long-time associate of Charles, said he discussed the issue with Meghan when they chatted about her father-in-law’s championing of sustainable farming.

Meghan, who is heavily pregnant, was with Harry and other senior royals including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Buckingham Palace event hosted by the Queen.

Fiftieth anniversary of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales
Fiftieth anniversary of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales

Mr Holden said about his chat with the couple: “We talked about the Prince of Wales’s leadership in the field of sustainable agriculture and how the farm at Highgrove is one of the most important exemplars of sustainable farming practice.

“It is an example of the prince’s vision made flesh.”

He said the duchess also expressed her concerns about America food production practices.

“The duchess is very well aware of how industrial US food systems have become and the need to make a change,” he said.

“There was a lot of conversation about (how) badly wrong the US food systems are and how we need to act.

“She is pregnant, and obviously wants to make sure she is eating the right things, not just for the health of the baby but also its mental health.

“We are what we eat, and our mental health is connected with what we eat.”

Fiftieth anniversary of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales
Fiftieth anniversary of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales

Last week, Donald Trump’s administration published negotiating objectives for a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.

It is seeking “comprehensive market access” for US agricultural products through the reduction or removal of tariffs and the elimination of “unwarranted barriers” to food and drink imports.

US companies have long complained that EU regulations limit American exports of food products such as chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-boosted beef and genetically modified crops.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, a supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for a new referendum, speaking when the trade objectives were published said: “It’s clear that the US … wants to flood us with chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-pumped beef.”

But Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to Britain, said the use of chlorine was a “public safety no-brainer” and insisted it was the most effective and economical way of dealing with “potentially lethal” bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter.