BRUSSELS – Negotiators meeting in Brussels to hammer out a free-trade agreement between the United States and European Union face headwinds of negative public opinion surrounding, in part, the US practice using chlorinated water to kill bacteria on poultry, according to aReuters report.

Germany has been the most vocal opponent of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement. Along with concerns that "chlorine chicken" is a danger to human health, Germans' suspicion of any trade deal with the US was compounded by revelations of US spying, according to Reuters.

US poultry industry groups also are skeptical of an EU-US free-trade agreement. In June, Kevin Brosch, National Chicken Council advisor, testified before the Senate Committee on Finance about the effectiveness of enforcement of any new trade agreements. He noted that the US poultry industry has asked that the EU be taken to dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) because of the EU's trade barriers to imports of US poultry. But no action has been taken to resolve the issue.

“We are frankly less sanguine about the prospects for poultry under the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] agreement with Europe,” Brosch said in his testimony. “The ban currently imposed by EU regulations on importation of US chicken because of our safe and proven use of chlorinated water as an antimicrobial is not based on sound science and is inconsistent with WTO rules. TTIP would only be of use to our industry if the negotiations resulted in the removal of these SPS barriers that Europe has had in place for nearly 18 years.”