India challenges WTO trade ban on US poultry
India has challenged a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling, asking it to lift a ban on the import of poultry from the US.
India had banned poultry imports several years ago, citing avian influenza, but the WTO accepted the US challenge and termed the restrictions imposed as "unscientific". Indian poultry farmers who produce an estimated 3.5 million tonnes of chicken every year, claim that they will be heavily impacted if imports from the US are allowed.
Low-cost chicken legs are discarded in America as they are perceived as having higher cholesterol levels. Now, breeders in India fear that cheap chicken legs from the US could eat up at least 40% of their market share.
In October, a WTO panel ruled that India's import curbs on farm products, including poultry, from the US on fears that "low-intensity" bird flu can affect public health, were not in line with multilateral trade rules. The Indian Commerce Ministry has asked poultry breeders to work out fresh risk assessments on health concerns that would better withstand scientific scrutiny.
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