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Scots bid to end US haggis ban

24-Jan-2011
Last updated the 24-Jan-2011 at 13:49 GMT

Haggis makers in Scotland would experience a boom in export sales if politicians succeed in persuading the US to lift a 40 year-old ban on the traditional dish.

Scotland’s national dish cannot be sold in the US because it contains sheep’s lung, an ingredient that has not been allowed in US food products since the 1960s. Moreover, since the BSE crisis of the 1990s, British offal is not permitted in the US.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead is on a mission to have the ban lifted, however, and is reported to have raised the haggis question on a visit to the US Department of Agriculture in Washington last year.

In the run-up to Burns night tomorrow (25 January), he has invited USDA officials to Scotland to witness the high standards of the food industry.

Jo Macsween, director of haggis maker Macsween, said: "In our experience, American visitors love our haggis when they taste it while in Scotland and it would be lovely if they could not only be permitted to take some home with them at the end of their stay here, but purchase it in America too.

"Of course, we would love to do business in America as we know have so many fans there."