US authorities rush to quell haggis ban rumours

The US will continue to ban imports of haggis, despite numerous reports suggesting it was now legal to export the minced offal product across the Atlantic.

“Stories have incorrectly stated that the US will be relaxing or lifting its ban on Scottish haggis,” said a spokesperson for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “USDA has made no such announcement.”

The BBC website proclaimed ‘US to relax haggis ban’ on 24 January, among many others suggesting haggis would be on sale in the US.

“A proposal to allow imports of ‘ruminant products’ from the UK may be put out for public consultation some time this year,” according to Dr Christopher Robinson of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Rumours possibly started circulating because a review of the ban on beef and lamb products in the US has begun at the USDA, although there is no timetable set for conclusions or a report publication date.

Since 1971, the US has banned any foodstuff made using sheep’s lung, meaning another rule change would have to be implemented to allow genuine haggis to enter the US.

A classic haggis recipe uses heart, liver and lung of the sheep, chopped up and combined with pinhead (not rolled) oats, onions, suet, spices and seasoning, then stuffed in a sheep’s stomach.

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