After 19 years, the Scottish government is bent on asking the United States to overturn its ban on Scotland’s traditional and national dish called ‘haggis.’
The U.S. implemented a ban on haggis from Scotland in 1989 amidst the bovine spongiform encephalopathy [mad cow] scare because the dish contains offal ingredients such as sheep lungs. Sheep can suffer from scrapie, which is in the same family of diseases as BSE.
A Scottish government spokesperson told BBC News,
"The market is massive because there are so many expat Scots there and once Americans try a good quality haggis, they can’t get enough of it."
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said,
"We do not allow importation because of the U.K.’s BSE status. Sheep are susceptible to TSE’s and thus the U.S. takes precautions on importing those ruminants from BSE-affected countries."
A spokesman for Britain’s Food Standards Agency said,
"We see no reason at all why people cannot eat haggis safely, so long as manufacturers follow hygiene legislation."
The story says that haggis is traditionally served with tatties and neeps (potatoes and turnips). It usually contains a sheep’s lungs, liver and heart minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt mixed with stock. It is then boiled in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours.