USDA Allows US Chicken To Be Processed In Toxic Chinese Factories
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently approved of four chicken processing plants in China, allowing chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be sent overseas to China for processing, and then shipped back to the U.S. and sold in the grocery stores. Moreover, the poultry that is going to be imported back in the U.S. won’t have a country-of-origin label nor will the U.S. inspectors be on site at processing plants in China before it is shipped to the United States for human consumption.
The experts on food safety warn that the quality of chicken processed in a country that is notorious for avian influenza and food-borne illnesses is questionable. According to their predictions, China will eventually seek to broaden the export rules to permit chickens born and raised in China.
Tom Super, the spokesman for the National Chicken Council for a recent interview for the Houston Chronicle has stated that this measure does not make sense even economically. If a Chinese company has to buy frozen chicken in the U.S, pay to ship it 7,000 miles, unload it, convey it to a processing plant, unpack it, cut it up, process or cook it, freeze it, repack it, transfer it back to a port, and then ship it another 7,000 miles, how can it make a profit out of this? He wonders where the logic in all this is.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimations, the American poultry processors get nearly $11 per hour on average. According to some reports, the chicken workers in China earn considerably less – $1-2 per hour – which casts doubt on Super’s economic feasibility assessment.
The same process is already in function for the U.S. seafood. Seattle Times has informed that domestically caught Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab at the moment are being possessed in China and shipped back to the U.S., because of considerable cost savings:
Fish processors in the Northwest, such as Seattle-based trident Seafoods are shipping part of their catch of Alaskan salmon or Dungeness crab to China for filtration or de-shelling before it is being returned to U.S. tables.
The 36 pin bones in the salmon are best removed by hand, claims Charles Bundrant, the Trident founder. That is why this company sends around 30 million pounds of its 1.2 billion-pound annual harvest to China for processing. Charles says that a work that in the U.S. costs $1 per pound, in China is done for 20 cents.
However, China has a reputation to be one of the world’s worst food safety offenders. Last year, a report on a Chinese chicken jerky manufacturer that has made dog treats was released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the report, these dog treats were linked to death of more than 500 dogs.
The Food Safety News’ purpose is to spread awareness of the pending USDA agreement and prevent the processing of chicken in China and its returning to the supermarkets or school lunchrooms in the U.S.