02 Jul 2014

UK Government bids to overturn US Haggis Ban

UK Government bids to overturn US Haggis Ban

Neil Fraser, Partner, discusses the UK government's bid to allow sales of haggis to be allowed in the US after the ban on selling Scottish Beef is overturned.

Neil Fraser, Partner, discusses the UK government's bid to allow sales of haggis to be allowed in the US after the ban on selling Scottish Beef is overturned.

Pointing out those parts of the world in which the Great Chieftain o' the Pudding-race is illegal has almost become as much part of each year’s Burn's Night festivities as the piper's dram or the toasts to the lads and lassies.  Prominent among those unfortunate parts of the world that cannot enjoy an authentic Scottish Haggis, is the United States of America.

Haggis imports were outlawed in the US in 1971 due to the country’s Food Standards Agency prohibiting sheep lungs in food products. 

The BBC reports that Scottish producers have asked Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to take action when he visited the Royal Highland show in Edinburgh last month and it is said that the issue will be raised with senior officials from the Obama administration this week. The move comes following a move by US Officials to reopen the American market to EU beef and other bovine products, which had previously been banned in the 1990s over concerns that BSE could infect the human food chain. 

The UK Government has said it hopes the ban can be lifted as part of an EU-US trade deal, more commonly known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is currently being negotiated.

I can only hope that the American Authorities see some sense here, and the relaxation of the EU Beef import restrictions would be a good time to reintroduce the Haggis to the American market.  There seems to be no good reason really why the US Haggis aficionado should not be able to enjoy the traditional delicacy, without the assistance of a Canadian Haggis smuggler.

Neil Fraser, Partner



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