Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Chickens Are Coming From China

The U.S. Dept of Agriculture has announced that it will allow U.S. chickens to be shipped to China for processing and then shipped back to the U.S. for humans to eat. This is despite China’s terrible food safety record. There are no plans to put on-site U.S. inspectors at Chinese plants. There is no requirement to label the chickens or identify where they come from, so American consumers will never know which brands of chicken are processed in China, or if China-processed chicken is in chicken soup or chicken nuggets, or in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, or Summer Food Service Program.

China’s food safety system is decades behind ours. Here are some recent scandals. More than 300,000 Chinese children suffered illness, and several have died, from melamine-tainted baby milk powder. Dangerously high levels of mercury have been found in Chinese baby formula. More than $1 million worth of rat and other small mammal meat has been sold to Chinese consumers as lamb.

Some so-called experts have tried to argue that it doesn’t make economic sense to ship U.S. chickens 7,000 miles to a Chinese processing plant, cut it up, cook it, freeze it, repack it, then ship it another 7,000 miles back to the U.S. But that process is already being used for U.S. seafood that is sold everyday in U.S. markets. According to the Seattle Times, U.S.-domestic Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are now being shipped to China, processed there, and then shipped back to the U.S. because of significant cost savings.

The best way to remove the 36 pin bones on a salmon is by hand. U.S. poultry processors are paid roughly $11 per hour, but Chinese chicken workers are paid only $1 to $2 per hour. So get ready for chickens from China.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep comments short. Long comments will be deleted.