The president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) has admitted she and her members are overwhelmed that a petition to the government over food standards has been signed more than one million times.

The petition was launched after politicians failed to support an amendment to the Trade Bill that ensured imported food would be up to UK standards.

Minette Batters, NFU president, says she is delighted to see this level of support and argued that the British public cared deeply over food standards.

She added: “It is now clear that it is simply not credible for the government to continue to just pay lip service to this issue, when there is such public support for action.

"They must now give guarantees to the British people that they have listened to their concerns and will make firm commitments to address them."

“Trade policy is complicated, but what the public are telling us is quite simple. They care deeply about their food, where it comes from and how it is produced.

“They do not want to see chlorinated chicken or hormone-fed beef on their supermarket shelves and nor do they want to see food imported which has been produced in lower welfare or environmental systems than is legally allowed in this country.

"Farmers, animal welfare groups, environmentalists and now the public have made their voices clear."

Mrs Batters re-iterated what she and he NFU would like to see to ensure trade standards are kept high.

She added: "There is a simple solution that we are presenting; the introduction of a Trade, Food and Farming Standards Commission.

"This would be an independent body that can review trade policy and ensure all of our food imports are held to the same standards expected of British farmers."

“Given the clear commitments in the Conservative Party manifesto that they will not compromise British farming’s high standards, is it not a logical next step to put in place a panel of experts that can carry out that direction?

“These are decisions that will leave a legacy for decades and generations to come. It is so important that we get this right.

"Access to safe, traceable, affordable and nutritious food produced to the highest standards should be a right for all. We must not throw that away in the pursuit of free trade.”

The NFU also believes that more than 78,000 people have also written to their MP urging them to support the introduction of a Trade, Food and Farming Standards Commission that can review trade policy and develop solutions that can hold all food imports to the UK’s high standards.