Post-Brexit Britain could see chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef on shopping market shelves if Liam Fox gets his way.
The International Trade Secretary is reportedly open to a free trade arrangement with the US which could see the food stuffs, banned under EU rules, exported to the UK. But other cabinet members, such as Environment Secretary Michael Gove, are opposed to such a relaxation in rules, The Telegraph reported.
The pro-free market Adam Smith Institute think-tank has backed scrapping the ban.
"Trade critics like to suggest that signing a deal with the US will mean that Brits will be forced to eat unsafe produce. In reality, chlorinated chicken is so harmless that even the EU's own scientific advisors have declared that it is 'of no safety concern," said Peter Spence, author of Chlorinated Chicken - Why you shouldn't give a cluck.
"Agreeing to US poultry imports would help to secure a quick US trade deal, and bring down costs for British households. European opposition to US agricultural exports has held up trade talks for years.
"By scrapping the ban on chlorinated chicken imports, the government will send a signal to potential trading partners across the globe that the UK remains an open-facing and free trading nation."
The row, the latest to be leaked from the cabinet after Theresa May urged her ministers to keep the meetings private, comes after Donald Trump said that he expected a free trade agreement between the US and UK to be completed "very, very quickly" after Brexit in 2019.
"We have been working on a trade deal which will be a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal, great for both countries, and I think we will have that done very, very quickly," the president said at the G20 Conference in Hamburg, Germany.
The Department for International Trade told IBTimes UK in March that the government was talking to 15 countries about post-Brexit trade deals, including Australia, China and Israel. But the UK would have to split from the EU's customs union so that it can broker its own free trade agreements with non-EU nations. The two-year-long negotiations between the UK and the EU are ongoing.