Haggis to tackle US obesity crisis

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Haggis can't be imported into the the US if it contains lung
Haggis can't be imported into the the US if it contains lung

Related tags: Barack obama

Haggis would help tackle America’s obesity crisis, but its import ban into the US must first be lifted, Members of Parliament were told in a House of Commons debate yesterday (January 15).

That’s according to Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich, who also urged the prime minister David Cameron to persuade US president Barack Obama to lift the ban while on an official visit to Washington​ this week.

“The US government are depriving 24M American Scots this wholesome food, which satisfies hunger very much more than the junk food Americans consume,” ​he said.

‘Greatest epidemic they have’

“It would help to deal with the greatest epidemic they have – the obesity epidemic – which is killing millions, costing billions of dollars and for which the cure is free.”

James Macsween, joint owner of Macsween:

"I feel that it is unjustified and outdated … it's farcical that we can't give Americans the opportunity to taste our authentic haggis."

The United States Food and Drug Administration does not allow the import of haggis as it contains animal lungs for human consumption.

However, the UK was currently working with US authorities to lift the restrictions, said food minister Lord de Mauley.

There were two “hurdles” ​to overcome before this could be achieved, which included US restrictions on lamb imports and the US’s unwillingness to recognise animal lungs as an acceptable foodstuff, de Mauley explained.

“In this regard, the most promising avenue in the short term is the production of haggis omitting the inclusion of lung – and the Scottish government recognises this,” ​he added.

'Unjustified and outdated '

Meanwhile, James Macsween, joint md and owner of haggis manufacturer Macsween, slammed the US import ban as "unjustified and outdated".

The Scottish firm had been using the same recipe for 60 years and wouldn't contemplate removing lung from it – as suggested by de Mauley – he told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

"Haggis made without lung would change the texture and overall eating experience, it's the reason haggis is light and fluffy,"​ Macsween said.

"Like our counterparts on the continent, as a nation the UK are far more engaged with nose-to-tail eating than America and haggis is a dish that honours this."

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1 comment

Food will feed obesity?

Posted by Jamie Klayman,

There is so much more to the obesity issue, that I find it hard to believe this issue is even worth fighting for?
The obesity numbers in the UK are right behind those in the US, and especially teen & child obesity numbers. Let's get our kids moving, and teach the parents what to do to help them. http:bit.ly/JKObook, http:jamieklayman.org are both resources to help parents stomp out this world-wide epidemic.

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