U.S. poultry industry urges action on EU import ban

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Monday, October 05, 2009

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is being jointly urged by four concerned groups to have the World Trade Organization (WTO) determine if a major barrier to U.S. poultry exports to the European Union is a violation of WTO’s rules.

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk the National Chicken Council, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, National Turkey Federation, and the National Association of Manufacturers re-confirmed their strong support for U.S. Trade Representative action that would result in a WTO dispute settlement panel that addresses the EU’s blocking action against four antimicrobials that reduce pathogens during poultry processing.

In the letter to Ambassador Kirk the groups noted that early in 2009 WTO dispute settlement consultations were held with the European Union in an attempt to move the EU toward official approval of four antimicrobials that are FDA/USDA approved and have been scientifically proven in both the United States and the EU to be safe and efficacious in reducing pathogens on poultry.

Since the official consultations earlier this year resulted in no resolution of the issue, the group feels that now is the right time to request the issue to be addressed by a WTO dispute settlement panel.

U.S. poultry exports to the EU have not been permitted since 1997. If the EU was an eligible market for U.S. poultry, it is estimated annual poultry exports would top $300 million.