The government has made specific changes in the requirement for health certification of poultry products from the US. In light of this event, it will be easier for American poultry products to enter the Indian market.
In a statement to The Hindu, a government official informed that the issue of health certification for poultry had been resolved with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Although, the import of poultry products from America could affect the Indian poultry industry since American chicken legs are cheaper in comparison.
With the import, the US will strip the Indian poultry industry off of 40% profit that produces 3.5 million tonnes of chicken annually.
Earlier, the US had confronted the restrictions imposed by India on the import of poultry products, apparently to keep diseases like flu in check.
In 2015, New Delhi lost the dispute as WTO ruled the restrictions unauthentic and unscientific. WTO asked the restrictions to be removed.
Afterwards, India made some changes in the health restrictions to accord with DSB’s ruling and to deal with some issues raised by America. Although, America was not satisfied with the changes.
The official stated, “The US wanted that the health certification should be modified to recognise the disease control system in the country and their systems approach so that their industry could export without fear of rejection by Indian authorities.” The Animal Husbandry Department amended the rules as sought by the USFDA after the US threatened India penalty in 2016.
The danger to domestic poultry industry
Now that the US is allowed to import poultry products in India, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is worried about the negative consequences it would bring to the domestic poultry industry. According to the officials, if any restrictions continue, they have to be by the OIE guidelines which are globally applicable.
The government with the cooperation of Indian poultry industry is looking into the issues such as deep freezing of chicken and their genetic modification, to see if the imports can be restricted to relatable health issues.
In 2015, India challenged the ruling of WTO asking to remove the restriction on import of poultry products from the US. This step was taken to keep the high cholesterol chicken from the US in check. The bans had been applied by India to restrain diseases like flu years ago. Although WTO termed the restrictions ‘unscientific’.
American companies export chicken legs to other countries since Americans prefer chicken breast and white meat more.