US loses patience over EU ban on poultry

The United States has lost patience with the European Union (EU) over its ban on imports of poultry carcases treated with four types of chemicals – effectively blocking most American chicken from sale.

Washington has formally requested a World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes panel to adjudicate the long-running row.

The US claims the EU is breaking its WTO free trade obligations by blocking imports of poultry carcases treated with chlorine dioxide, acidified sodium chlorite, trisodium phosphate and peroxyacids. For such a ban to stand at the WTO, Europe must prove it is based on health concerns relying on good objective science – the US will claim Brussels’ actions lack “a scientific basis”.

US Trade Representative office spokeswoman Nefeterius McPherson said: “The US poultry subject to the EU ban is safe. There is no scientific evidence that the use of pathogen reduction treatments pose any health risk to consumers.” She added she “regretted” the move to WTO action.

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