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U.S. Haggis Lovers' Hopes Dashed

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U.S. Haggis Lovers' Hopes Dashed

Food

U.S. Haggis Lovers' Hopes Dashed

U.S. Haggis Lovers' Hopes Dashed

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/123179163/123179145" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Scottish master butcher Neil Watt and his haggis. Martin Cleaver/AP File hide caption

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Martin Cleaver/AP File

Scottish master butcher Neil Watt and his haggis.

Martin Cleaver/AP File

It's still illegal to import haggis from Scotland, despite reports saying otherwise. There's been a ban on this concoction of sheep meat cooked in a stomach since 1989, when mad cow disease was in the news.

If you don't already know, haggis is made from sheep innards — heart, liver, lungs and fat — which are mixed with spices and oatmeal, then cooked in the sheep's stomach.

American haggis lovers were elated last week when word spread that the ban might be lifted. Haggis producers in Edinburgh were pretty excited, too. They were already salivating over potential sales to a U.S. market.

But when the BBC contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they said not so fast. "Recently, several news articles have incorrectly stated that the U.S. will be relaxing or lifting its ban on Scottish haggis," a spokeswoman wrote to the news organization.

While a review of the ban on beef and lamb is under way, there's no time frame for its completion.

Plus, there may be another barrier to importing haggis: Since 1971, the U.S. has banned all food made with lungs.

So, until the day when real Scottish haggis comes to the U.S., we'll have to make do with scrapple.