USDA Approves US Poultry to be Processed in China and Shipped Back to The United States for Consumption
The United States Department of Agriculture announced that it is allowing four Chinese facilities to process poultry grown and slaughtered in the United States, Chili, or Canada. The cooked poultry will then be shipped back to the United States for public consumption. One of the concerns raised is that this is a begging negotiation to allowing China to export raw chicken into the U.S.
Putting aside the obvious environmental concerns of poultry traveling around the world and back again before landing on you plate, or your child’s school lunch; China’s track record for food safety is legendary. Some of the media highlights include; dangerously high levels of mercury found in baby food, more than 300,000 Chinese children have fallen ill, or dies from melamine-tainted milk powder, and some recently, the FDA warned pet owner to stop feeding their dogs Chinese jerky treats, due 3,600 animal illnesses and deaths.While the cost of poultry, processing is much lower in China, over the United States. According to the Food Safety News,” The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that American poultry processors are typically paid a little more than $11 per hour on average. While we could find no analogous statistics for Chinese poultry workers, this recent news account of a fire at a Chinese poultry processing plant quotes a worker as saying he earns 2,000 yuan ($326) per month, or between $1-2 per hour. So, under the Pacific salmon/Dungeness crab model, it seems perfectly plausible that American poultry suppliers will find it makes good economic sense to ship U.S. chicken all the way to China and back for processing.”
Bloomberg Businessweek sharply criticized the USDA's August, 2013 decision to allow China to process poultry from the U.S., Canada and Chile and then ship the processed product back to the U.S. for human consumption. Reporter Adam Minter wrote:
"For more than a decade, China has earned a reputation as one of the world’s worst food-safety offenders. In just the last year, consumers have been confronted with a bird flu outbreak, news of sales of 46-year-old chicken feet and reports of poisonous fake mutton. These are not isolated incidents, but rather the most spectacular instances of a crisis that has become so severe that some consumers now smuggle quantities of infant milk formula from foreign countries into China so as to avoid buying potentially tainted Chinese dairy products."
Let your government know your feelings! Sign the petition against Chinese processed poultry in the United States and (if you can) donate to the cause. Change.org