Chinese Chicken Processing Importation

Issues

Chinese Chicken Processing Importation

The Breakdown

• In November 2012, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) announced that the agency-conducted audit found China’s poultry slaughter to not be equivalent to that of the USA.

• In August 2013, the USDA announced that its audit of China’s poultry processing system is equivalent to America’s.

• In August 2013, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will allow four Chinese facilities to process poultry raised and slaughtered in the United States, Chile, and Canada and then export the cooked poultry products back into the United States. However, poultry slaughtered in China will not be allowed to be imported into the United States.

• China must certify plants to process chicken for export and provide a list to the FSIS before this process may begin. However, the country has not done this nor signified that they intend to do so. In addition, United States companies have not expressed the desire to have China process their poultry.

Our Position

• Stop Foodborne Illness does not support Chinese chicken processing and importation and is currently working with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to get this process banned in the United States.

• We do not support Chinese Chicken Processing Importation for the following reasons:

– Chinese facilities that process chicken for consumption in the US will not have on-site USDA inspectors to ensure food safety, while US facilities do.

– Chinese-processed chicken will be required to bear Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL). However, numerous labeling loopholes may leave consumers uninformed as to whether they are purchasing or eating chicken processed in China.

– Chinese-processed chicken may be used in school meals, federal child nutrition programs, and pet treats despite the fact that children are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illnesses and dangerous chemicals.

– China’s food safety record is appalling. Scandals from tainted infant formula, to hogs being dumped by the thousands in rivers, to pet treats that kill hundreds of US dogs with no identifiable cause have caused headlines and heartache in recent years. While China says its food safety programs are being “improved,” these news reports do not ensure consumer confidence nor demonstrate that supposed progress.

– Evidence of Salmonella in Chinese slaughtering facilities raises an eminent threat of cross-contamination.

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