Food Policy

U.K. to U.S.: End the Haggis Ban


America's chaps across the pond are extending a sort of olive branch – one that's made of minced sheep heart, lungs, and liver. The government of the United Kingdom hopes that trade talks this week will mark the end of a longstanding U.S. ban on the Scottish delicacy haggis.

BBC reported this weekend on the situation, and explained why Americans are starved of this dish:

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will raise the issue with senior officials from the Obama administration this week.

Scottish producers had asked Paterson to take action when he visited the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh earlier this month.

Haggis imports have been outlawed in the US since 1971.

The ban was put in place because the country's food standards agency prohibits sheep lungs—one of the key ingredients of haggis—in food products. …

During his visit, Paterson will also ask for Scottish lamb to be allowed back into America, following a ban imposed in 1989.

The U.K. government said it hoped the ban could be lifted as part of an E.U.-U.S. trade deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which is currently being negotiated.

Wikimedia commons

A meeting between Paterson and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took place yesterday, but so far "neither the Agriculture Department nor the British Embassy responded with an update on how the meeting went," explains The Washington Post.

This isn't the first time the U.K. has petitioned the U.S. to end the ban. Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward highlighted the last bid in 2010, which despite a great deal of promise, never came to fruition.

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  1. Pass.

  2. Agriculture Secretary Tom Nutsack.

    It was great getting that asshole out of Iowa. Unfortunately, he settled in with the feds.

  3. Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
    Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
    As lang’s my arm.

    1. Sorry, I don’t speak Klingon.

    2. +1 Gi’e her a Haggis

  4. Isn’t haggis just a variation on traditional sausage? Instead cleaning out the intestines and stuffing them with organs and herbs, they use the stomach. Am I missing something?

    1. It’s sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, lungs) mixed with onion, oatmeal, mutton fat, and salt, encased inside sheep’s stomach.

      It supposedly tastes pretty good, though.

      1. Episiarch didn’t care for it, and he’s disgusting, like a billy goat with a spray tan and guido highlights.

        1. Ugh, I bet he’d eat H?karl.

      2. It is good.

        I looked at it askance, while hanging out with the Royal Scots Borderers (1st Scots) and one of my favorite enlisted guys said quite loudly “Siiirh, you will eat the lovely haggis…and like it!” so I did, and I did.

      3. Actually, that does sound really, really, tasty. I’ve always loved the taste of liver but could never much stand the texture. Hearts and lungs, on the other hand have the same taste (I’m told it’s blood) but a much more appealing texture. Just another example of idiots banning food that people have eaten for centuries to prove how oh-so-enlightened they are.

    2. I think part of the problem is its not always cooked to FDA standards for prepared foods, nor is it really preserved according to those standards.

      1. No, that’s a symptom of the problem, which is the FDA’s mere existence, which is a symptom itself of the larger problem of any government having police powers.

    3. Am I missing something?

      Would you rather have;

      Italian Sausage prepared by an Italian Chef

      Andouillette prepared by a French Chef

      Wurst prepared by a German Chef

      Haggis prepared by a Scottish “Chef”?

      1. In heaven the chefs are French, the cars are German, and the cops are English.

        In hell the chefs are English, the cars are French, and the cops are German.

        1. The version I heard was:

          A good European dies and goes to Heaven – all the cops are English, all the chefs are French, everyone has an Italian lover and the Germans run everything.

          A bad European dies and goes to Hell – all the cops are French, all the chefs are English, everyone has a German lover and the Italians run everything.

          1. What’s wrong with German lovers?

            Ok, I suppose “lover” might not adequately convey what sleeping with Germans is like, but my point stands.

              1. That’s actually kind of reasonable. The Belgians seem to be just as freaky, but a bit less mechanical about it.

  5. I’ve seen canned haggis for sale in the US. Are you teling me this is some sort of fake haggis?!? Fauxggis?!?

    1. It doesn’t contain lungs, so yes.

      1. I’m so angry right now.

        1. A turd without peanuts in it is still a turd.

    2. Canned Haggis would be an excellent name for a rock band.

      1. An easy listening kind of rock band.

  6. I really, really like the haggis. It was about the same in the US as in Scotland. Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery (locations in metro Detroit) for the win!

    PS Yes, I’ve had fried haggis. On a stick. From Check’s in Glasgow. Suck it. It was delicious…

  7. My dead Scottish grandfather fled his homeland to escape this menace.

    On his behalf I say: HELL NO!

    1. “My dead Scottish grandfather fled his homeland to escape this menace.”

      Jumped right out of his grave!


    I don’t think all forms of tripe are banned.

    1. No one said it was.

      The ban was put in place because the country’s food standards agency prohibits sheep lungs – one of the key ingredients of haggis – in food products. ?

      Lungs are banned. Tripe is stomach and intestine.

  9. Scotch eggs are yummy. No fucking way will you get me to try haggis.

    1. WTF is wrong with that country;

      Several local variations exist. The Manchester egg uses a pickled egg wrapped in a mixture of pork meat and Lancashire black pudding, and the Worcester Egg, where the egg is first pickled in Worcestershire sauce and then clad in a mixture of local sausage meat and white pudding.

  10. I have eaten some wild shit before. I ate sea cucumber in China, alligator in the South, some weird fish that stared at me in Turkey. I’ve eaten Fugu in Tokyo and cod tongue in Newfoundland. I’ve even choked down live octopus tentacle as it suckered onto my teeth and writhed in a vain attempt to avoid its doom.

    But there is something about the concept of haggis that really turns me off.

    1. How about huitlacoche, hakarl, balut or “baby mice wine”? Ever tried those?

      1. “baby mice wine”

        W the F’ing F?!!!!

  11. Okay I understand why people used to eat haggis. It’s better to have an onion with organs than just an onion. But nowadays we aren’t all subsistence farmers. We can afford to only eat the tasty parts of the animal.

    1. Yes, despite my joke below, you are correct.

      Having never had real famine here, our tastes are quite different from every other culture in the world.

    2. But, some of us actually like the taste of organ meat (That didn’t come out right. NTTAWWT). Okay, maybe you that doesn’t appeal to you. But, over the years some wonderful recipes emerged using organs. Veal kidneys with a bordelaise sauce is one of the finest dishes I’ve ever had.

    3. But nowadays we aren’t all subsistence farmers.

      Actually some of us could stand to consume a little more low(er) cal, high(er) nutrient organ meats.

  12. “U.K. to U.S.: End the Haggis Ban”

    Why, in the name of God, would we do that?

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