A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

U.S. Chlorine-Bleached Chickens: European Agriculture Ministers Reject Lifting Import Ban

19 may 2008

The broad majority of European agriculture ministers (21 out of 27 ministers) expressed their rejection of the possibility of ending the ban on imports of chlorine-treated chickens from the United States to the European Union. Imports of these infamous "bleached chickens" have been prohibited for the past ten years in the EU, primarily due to health security concerns. European authorities favor carrying out controls throughout the production and distribution chain, whereas the United States opted for the radical method of disinfecting poultry in a chlorine dioxide-based chemical solution just before sale. This solution is less expensive but could, according to some, increase health risks.

The refusal of the European agriculture ministers coincided with the European Commission's efforts, alongside American leaders at the May 13 Transatlantic Economic Council,
1 to propose, "before the EU-US summit in June, (…) changes to EU regulations that will allow the importation of poultry meat processed using pathogen reduction treatments."

This commitment was, in particular, advanced following pressure from the U.S. authorities and Gunter Verheugen, EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry and co-chair of the Transatlantic Council. Verheugen has been calling for an end to the import ban for several months and had announced that his office would prepare a proposal along these lines, while the EU Commissioners for Agriculture and Health, Mariann Fischer Boel and Androulla Vassiliou, seemed reluctant.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a mixed opinion in April, stating that no published data exist to indicate that the chemical substances used in the U.S. could lead to "increased bacterial tolerance to these substances or to increased resistance to therapeutic antibiotics and other antimicrobials."

The internal divisions within the European Commission on this issue and the opposition among European agriculture ministers and environmental associations to lifting the import ban on chlorine-treated chicken all illustrate the disaccord between Europe and the United States.


1 The Transatlantic Economic Council was established in April 2007 to facilitate enhanced economic integration between the United States and the European Union.
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Paris, 24 April 2019