Haggis could be made available in the United States as early as 2017 after discussions with the Scottish and US governments.
Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead, speaking after meetings with US Agriculture officials in Washington, said US officials indicated that draft rules coming into effect next year would indicate sales of haggis and Scotch lamb in 2017, according to a report from the Scotsman newspaper.
Quoted in the Scotsman, Lochhead said the ability for haggis and Scotch lamb to be in the US market would be a boost to producers, as well as Scotland’s economy.
“Getting back into the US market in 2017 would unlock a huge market and millions of pounds of business for our Scotch lamb and haggis producers,” Lochhead said. “Scotch lamb is among the best in the world and the Scotch label is seen as a real hallmark of quality, and getting back into the US market would be a real breakthrough.”
— Scotsman (@TheScotsman) November 13, 2015
The US Food and Drug Administration has had a ban in place on haggis since 1971. UK government officials had also raised the issue of the ban as recent as last year, when Environment Secretary Owen Patterson spoke to senior members of President Barack Obama’s administration on the issue, according to a report from the BBC.
A spokesperson for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs department did not return a message seeking comment. A spokesperson for the FDA deferred to the US Department of Agriculture for comment.
A spokesperson for the USDA said the draft rule would address sheep and goat products. Sheep and goat meat products from the EU are currently banned in the US. Yet, sheep lungs are banned from consumption in the United States.
The spokesperson added that a formal timeline was not given on when they would be made formally available.