EU making use of banned poultry cleaning method
European poultry producers are reportedly using a chlorine washing process
on exported chicken. However, this method of cleaning used in the US has led to
a de facto ban on American sales in the EU, reports the Financial Times.
According to EU regulations, chicken meat for domestic consumption must be
cleaned using water of drinking quality. US poultry meat is washed in a chlorine
solution and so no genuine US poultry has been eaten in EU states for 11
However, the Financial Times reports that they have seen internal documents
from the European Commission which show that chlorine washing is permitted for
poultry being exported from the EU.
â€œThe French use [chlorine washing] for exports to Saudi Arabia. This fact
has been concealed. Not once has it been mentioned in all the Commission
meetings on this subject,â€ said a senior Commission official pushing to change
the rules. â€œThis is all about protecting vested interests.â€
Crisis of confidence
The revelation may exacerbate a crisis of confidence in the Transatlantic
Economic Council (TEC), set up to harmonise regulations between the two big
trading blocs. Washington recently said the lifting of the de facto ban was key
to the viability of the TEC.
GÃ¼nter Verheugen, the industry commissioner, has been pressing US claims to
drop the de facto ban. He has given warning that failure to do so could
undermine the TEC, which promises vast regulatory savings for business, reports
the Financial Times.
The European Food Safety Agency has found that chlorine washing â€œdoes not
indicate a safety concernâ€. An opinion by the Commission's lawyers, seen by the
Financial Times, says that on this basis, the import bar breaches World Trade
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.