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US chlorine-washed chicken pecking at EU door

brussels bureau

US chlorine-washed chicken pecking at EU door


Coming soon to a supermarket near you: chlorine- disinfected chicken, that is if an initiative by Brussels is successful. The European Commission will present its ideas later this month aimed at lifting an EU ban on American chicken imports.

It has been in place since 1997 because U.S. poultry producers wash their chickens in a chlorine solution not allowed in the EU. European public health concerns have lately been toned down, in the view of EU food safety experts.

But France wants the ban kept. Following an allegation that French chicken exported to Saudi Arabia used the American chlorine method, France cried foul. Brussels supports the French denial:

“According to the information available today to the Commission, no member States are using this practice for export,” a spokesperson said.

The Transatlantic Economic Council, set up last year to cut red tape and boost trade between the EU and the United States, has been working to find a solution before the EU-U.S. summit in Ljubljana in June.

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