The European Commission is pushing ahead with plans to allow chlorine to be used to clean poultry meat, thereby allowing US poultry products into the EU.

just-food has obtained a formal Commission proposal that proposes legalising this anti-microbial treatment, which has been thus far banned in Europe on health grounds.

Because the US has pushed hard for the lifting of this trade barrier, Brussels has asked national governments to heed scientific reports claiming the US practice is safe.

However, the move has met trenchant opposition from many member states.

Even though the Commission proposed such products should be labelled as being treated with antimicrobial substances or decontaminated by chemicals, all but one member state opposed lifting the ban at the last meeting of the standing committee of the food chain and animal health.

Nevertheless, Brussels is pressing ahead with the proposal.

When contacted by just-food, an official cited procedural issues. "The Commission has to submit to the Council a proposal that has not [been passed by] the committee," he claimed.