European concerns about the impact of any potential free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the USA on food and the environment may throw current negotiations off track.
A transatlantic pact could create a market of 800 million people and allow Europe to sell more of its goods – including cars, food and chemicals – to the US. However, concerns about the threat to food and the environment have found strong voice in Germany, where the idea that the US technique of disinfecting chicken with chlorine might be introduced in Europe has caused alarm and highlighted wider suspicions about any EU-US deal.
According to a survey by Forsa, a majority of Germans believe chlorine-washed chicken is a danger to human health - despite its successful use in the US to kill bacteria.
"We do not want this sort of agreement," said Ska Keller, a member of the European Parliament for the Greens, who gained prominence at home during European elections in May by putting the trade deal at the centre of her campaign.
"I don't expect anything positive to come out of the negotiations," Keller told Reuters.
Negotiators are meeting in Brussels for a sixth round of talks this week, hoping to reach an agreement sometime next year. However officials are struggling to raise awareness of the trade discussions beyond vocal labour and consumer groups who largely oppose such a deal.