Merkel says will prevent chlorine-washed chicken imports from U.S.

WORMS, Germany Sat May 24, 2014 11:05am EDT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech during a meeting with Portuguese-German businessmen in Lisbon November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech during a meeting with Portuguese-German businessmen in Lisbon November 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Rafael Marchante

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WORMS, Germany (Reuters) - Germany's Angela Merkel stressed the importance of Europe striking a free trade deal with the United States on Saturday, but added she would not allow the import of chlorine-washed chicken - a sticking point in negotiations.

The United States and European Union are making headway on a free trade pact, but remain at odds over U.S. exports of beef and chicken that fail to meet tough EU safety standards.

The European Union is closed to U.S. beef from cattle raised with growth hormones and to chlorine-washed chicken, which consumers fear make the food unsafe.

The United States sees EU food safety rules as veiled protectionism for European farmers and insists any restrictions be based on scientific evidence.

"There will be no import of chlorine-washed chicken from the United States. I have prevented it for years and will continue to do so. There is no question about that," Merkel said during a European election rally speech in Worms in southern Germany before Sunday's vote.

But she also said a free trade deal would create jobs and it was important to reduce unfounded fears.

Merkel added said she hoped to see Europe develop firms able to compete with Google (GOOGL.O) or Apple APPL.O, partly to ensure the upholding of European data protection laws.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (9)
Lilydaisy wrote:
Phew! I didn’t know the US washes chickens in chlorine? Why? We must be the laughing stock of Europe; they won’t accept our chickens or beef that the US feeds it’s own! Maybe we should all become vegetarians in this country or all of us move to Europe if we value our lives.

May 24, 2014 10:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kahnie wrote:
That shows how bad the conditions are in the “chicken factories” where chickens cannot move around and kill each other. Sheesh.

May 24, 2014 1:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
worldscan wrote:
Why fight it? The solution is simple: find out how the Germans process their chicken and do it the same way. At any rate, as an American, I am embarrassed that our food product is so sub par that it is rejected by the Europeans. Indeed, if a chicken has to be washed with chlorine to make it safe, it must have gone through hell during the slaughtering process. Shame.

May 24, 2014 4:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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