US haggis ban set to be lifted (again) allowing ex-pats to celebrate Burns night in traditional way

Colan Lamont of the Daily Record reports Scots in the US could be eating haggis on Burns Night for the first time in 45 years as a ban on the traditional fayre looks likely to be lifted.

haggis-nov-16The traditional recipe has been outlawed there since sheep lungs became a banned food  in 1971.

But haggis made here could again adorn American dinner tables as the Scottish Government say a ban on Scots lamb could be overturned in the first half of 2017.

Producers of haggis and Scots farmers say they are ready to cater to the estimated 5.3 million Scots-Americans living in the US.

Scots have been fighting to ­overturn the ban since the days of President Nixon, when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruled livestock lung could not be consumed by humans.

The campaign was dealt a further blow in 1997 when the US Government banned all imports of British lamb because of mad cow disease.

George Milne, regional ­development officer for the National Sheep Association, was part of a Scottish delegation that travelled to the US last year to urge USDA to end the ban on imports of lamb.

He said: “Having been there and spoken to people, it seems there would be a fairly big market for Scots lamb in America.

“The potential is big enough to be of massive ­benefit to Scots lamb. Let’s hope we get a successful outcome and the market will open up as soon as possible.

“There’s no reason why haggis and prime cuts of Scottish lamb could not be launched at the same time on Burns Day.”

The Scottish Government said: “A significant milestone was reached on September 16 when the US concluded its public consultation on proposals to lift the ban on the importation of lamb from the EU.

“Discussions are ongoing. We are hopeful the restrictions on the export of lamb and haggis will be lifted during the first half of next year.”

If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap; Burns Supper and haggis

In time for tonight’s annual Burns Supper honoring the birth of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, government types have once again invited U.S. regulators to revise a decades-old ban on haggis.

The iconic Scottish dish is been barred in the U.S. because its food safety department prohibits the use of sheep lungs in food products.

If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap, so US planning to relax haggis ban; haggis nachos on the way?

BBC News reports the U.S. government is planning to relax the ban on imported meats which prevents the sale of haggis, introduced in 1989 because of concerns about the safety of British meat during the BSE or mad cow disease debacle. Haggis contains offal ingredients such as sheep lungs.

Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said,

"I am greatly encouraged to hear that the US authorities are planning a review of the unfair ban on haggis imports. We are in regular contact with the industry on this issue and believe that reversing the ban would deliver a vote of confidence in Scottish producers, and allow American consumers to sample our world renowned national dish. It’s time for the US authorities to deliver a Burns Night (Jan. 25) boost and recognise that Scottish haggis is outstanding quality produce."

Jo MacSween, co-director of Macsween Haggis, said it would come as good news to expats and tourists, and that sales of haggis were no longer confined to the Burns Night season in January — the company has also diversified into products such as haggis nachos.

If it’s not Scottish, it’s craaaaapp

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.