SOMERSET farmers are justified in their concern about the future of food standards in the UK and we should support them in seeking guarantees through primary legislation.

The vote by Somerset's MPs to defeat a House of Lords amendment to the Agriculture Bill, which would have guaranteed protection of our domestic food standards post-Brexit, is far more worrying than Rebecca Pow is letting on ('Food standards won't be reduced say MPs', County Gazette, October 22).

Governments have increasingly used 'secondary legislation' to attach details - such as the protection of domestic food standards - to Acts of Parliament.

Ministers have the power to remove these adjuncts to legislation at will, without parliamentary approval.

Rebecca Pow's claim that 'the government would not compromise on the environment, animal welfare and food standards' is a bold promise made on such shaky ground.

READ MORE: The Somerset MPs who rejected Agriculture Bill amendment

To label as 'scaremongers' those of us who are concerned about the outcome of this vote does Ms Pow no credit. Nor does it alter the fact that unless food standard protections are enshrined in primary legislation they can be removed by a Minister at the stroke of a pen after December 31.

Whichever way we voted in 2016, we need to feel confident that the quality of our food and its production is future-proofed so that our farming industry will be able to thrive, using sustainable methods and high standards of animal welfare.