USDA Gives Green Light to Ship Chicken from USA to China for Process, Then Back to US

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Get all set for processed chicken nuggets & more, shipped from China, without USDA inspectors in those plants.

Oh I’m not kidding right on the heels of the phony meat scandal the USDA felt obliged to end a restriction on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be offered in the United States without a country-of-origin label.
In China this year alone, thousands of dead pigs turned up in the waters of Shanghai, rat meat was passed off as mutton and– maybe most disturbing for U.S. customers– there was an outbreak of the among live fowl in fresh meat markets. So it makes sense that the USDA would authorize food originating from China, right?

” Initially, at least, the chickens will be slaughtered in the United States (or another country that’s permitted to export butchered chicken to the United States), then delivered to China for processing and re-export. That’s fortunately. The problem is that, inning accordance with the New york city Times, no USDA inspectors will exist in the Chinese processing plants (despite the fact that China has actually never before been allowed to export chicken to the United States), hence offering customers no assurances where the processed chickens remained in fact butchered. Even even worse, due to the fact that the birds will be processed, the USDA will not need point-of-origin labeling (under USDA rules, foods that have actually been prepared aren’t based on point-of-origin labeling). In other words: Customers will have no chance to tell if those chicken nuggets in the supermarket freezer were processed in the U.S. or in China.

A comparable process is currently being used for U.S. seafood.
Inning accordance with the Seattle Times, locally caught Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are being processed in China and delivered back to the United States due to the fact that of substantial cost savings.

” There are 36 pin bones in a salmon and the best way to remove them is by hand,” stated Charles Bundrant, creator of Trident, which ships about 30 million pounds of its 1.2 billion-pound yearly harvest to China for processing. “Something that would cost us $1 per pound labor here, they get it provided for 20 cents in China.”
Exactly what was the USDA thinking when it decided to sign-off on Chinese processed chicken exports for human beings? Probably not the very best interest of American consumers. Rather, U.S. beef and poultry producers have long looked for to have the constraints lifted in hope of motivating Beijing to reciprocate and open its big market to more U.S. meat exports (U.S. beef is currently banned for import into China). It’s a sensible goal, and one that the USDA ought to pursue– just not at the cost of a safe U.S. food supply.( 1)”.