German fears of “Chlorhuehnchen” complicating US-EU trade talks
A free-trade agreement between the United States and the European Union could be in danger due to fears of "Chlorhuehnchen", or “chlorine chicken.” Fear that U.S. chicken, much of which is water chilled post-slaughter by being immersed in water that contains chlorine, could led to Germany becoming a fierce critic of any such agreement.
"We do not want this sort of agreement," said Ska Keller, member of Germany’s Green Party who gained prominence at home during European elections in May by putting the trade deal at the center of her campaign. "I don't expect anything positive to come out of the negotiations," she told Reuters.
Chancellor Angela Merkel once said she wished "for nothing more than a free-trade agreement between the USA and the EU," reports Reuters. However, the recent reports of U.S. spying on European countries has angered Europeans, and food safety and environmental concerns have further complicated trade talks.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, if it were to go through, could generate $100 billion a year in economic growth for both the EU and U.S. Negotiators meeting in Brussels for a sixth round of talks this week hope to reach an agreement sometime next year. But they are struggling to raise awareness beyond vocal labor and consumer groups who largely oppose an accord.
The EU's trade chief, Karel De Gucht, has warned that many Europeans think the TTIP "is an extraterrestrial."
Public support is crucial because the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament must ratify the pact. Germany has the largest contingent of lawmakers in the parliament.
Source: Reuters via Chicago Tribune