USDA Says Okay To Ship U.S. Chickens to China for Cheap Processing Then Back Home For You To Eat
According to Food Safety News, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow companies to send chickens to China for processing before getting them back to the USA. This is a shocking decision due to the fact that China is not famous for their food safety. Another problem is that the processing of the chickens won’t be monitored by any inspector or supervisor from the USA. Also, the consumers won’t know which chickens were processed in China because the companies don’t have an obligation to label this information on the product.
Some companies in this industry try to calm down the public by saying that this type of business is not worth the money and time. Tom Super, the official spokesman for the National Chicken Council says that these types of businesses don’t have any economical sense. According to him, it would be very difficult to find a Chinese company that will buy frozen chickens, transport them for more than 7.000 miles, unpack them, process them, repack them and send them back to the USA.
Even though his words sound logical, we should not forget that we are witnessing a very similar situation when it comes to US seafood. The Seattle Times has reported that Dungeness crab and Pacific salmon caught in US waters are processed in China and then transported back to the USA. According to Charles Bundrant, the owner of Trident, his company makes a lot of profit with this business. This is his explanation: „ One salmon has 36 pin bones and each of these bones must be removed manually. When we do this process in China, it costs us about 20 cents per pound. On the other side, the cost of the same operation in the USA is one dollar“. Mr. Bundrant’s company transports about 30 million pounds of seafood to China for processing.
Low Pay and Suspicious Food Safety Record!
According to the official data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wages of American poultry processors is about $11 per hour. On the other hand, Chinese poultry processors earn between $1 and $2 per hour.
In the past decade, there were a lot of scandals in China related to food industry. This is only a short list:
- Some Chinese baby formula had extremely high mercury levels.
- More than 1000 babies in China have experienced health problems and some of them have died because of the melamine in milk powder.
- About one million dollars worth of rat and similar mammal meat is sold in Chinese markets as lamb meat every year.