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USDA to Allow Chickens From U.S. to Be Shipped to China for Processing and Back to U.S. for Consumption, Just Like Seafood

John Deike
EcoWatch / News Report
Published: Sunday 9 March 2014
This arrangement is especially disturbing given China’s subpar food safety record and the fact that there are no plans to station on-site USDA inspectors at Chinese plants. Also, American consumers won’t know which brands of chicken are processed in China because there’s no requirement to label it as such.
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Scores of Americans are in an uproar since Food Safety News revealed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon allow U.S. chickens to be sent to China for processing before being shipped back to the states for human consumption.

This arrangement is especially disturbing given China’s subpar food safety record and the fact that there are no plans to station on-site USDA inspectors at Chinese plants. Also, American consumers won’t know which brands of chicken are processed in China because there’s no requirement to label it as such.

To ease concerns, lobbyists and chicken industry proponents argue no U.S. company will ever ship chicken to China for processing because it wouldn’t work economically.

“Economically, it doesn’t make much sense,” said Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, in a recent interview with the Houston Chronicle. “Think about it: A Chinese company would have to purchase frozen chicken in the U.S., pay to ship it 7,000 miles, unload it, transport it to a processing plant, unpack it, cut it up, process/cook it, freeze it, repack it, transport it back to a port, then ship it another 7,000 miles. I don’t know how anyone could make a profit doing that.”

Yet, a similar process is already being used for U.S. seafood.

According to the Seattle Times, domestically caught Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are being processed in China and shipped back to the U.S. because of significant cost savings.

“There are 36 pin bones in a salmon and the best way to remove them is by hand,” said Charles Bundrant, founder of Trident, which ships about 30 million pounds of its 1.2 billion-pound annual harvest to China for processing. “Something that would cost us $1 per pound labor here, they get it done for 20 cents in China.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics data estimates that American poultry processors are paid roughly $11 per hour on average. In China, reports have circulated that the country’s chicken workers can earn significantly less—$1 to 2 per hour—which casts doubt on Super’s economic feasibility assessment. 

China’s food safety system, which is said to be decades behind America’s, is highly questionable given some of the more recent food safety scandals that have surfaced in the country:

Food Safety News aims to spread awareness of the pending USDA agreement and stop Chinese-processed chicken from ever reaching supermarkets or school lunchrooms.



What a bunch of BS. If no U S

What a bunch of BS. If no U S company is going to do this, why did the FDA think a rule change was needed? I would venture that many companies are looking to take advantage of $10.00 per hour in labor cost savings. I know I will not be buying any chicken unless it can proven that it was processed in this country.

Please sign and circulate my

Please sign and circulate my petition at http://petitions.moveon.org/create_finished.html?petition_id=68856.

Petitions can be started on

Petitions can be started on Change.org, Moveon.org, or petitions.whitehouse.gov. And this would be a good forum in which to announce such a petition.

So let's start an on-line

So let's start an on-line petition to the White House - The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response. - Let's do the work to get this addressed - instead of just whining or accepting it!

I am so sick of our

I am so sick of our Government. What to say their chicken get mixed with our. I no longer eat chicken. I agree with White trash. They have so much pollution just in the air.
I am also only buying American everything, It is hard to tell anymore with the packaging stating package in The USA not manufactured on most of our food.

I am so sick of our

I am so sick of our Government. What to say their chicken get mixed with our. I no longer eat chicken. I agree with White trash. They have so much pollution just in the air.
I am also only buying American everything, It is hard to tell anymore with the packaging stating package in The USA not manufactured on most of our food.

with the cost of shipping ??

with the cost of shipping ?? ALL to put Americans out of work ??? penny wise and pound foolish...and not one word of air pollution - for shipping them back and forth....no talk of sanitary conditions?? HOW do you inspect for CLEANESS?? NOT ONLY "NOT A SENSIBLE IDEA" BUT BORDERING ON INSANITY

USDA should be closed, they

USDA should be closed, they are a clear and present danger to all Americans.
What a pity they can't be tried for treason and executed for their blatant hatred of all Americans.

Stop eating corporate foods,

Stop eating corporate foods, using their products, grow your own foods/fruits/veggies, etc. as much as possible. Create cooperative neighborhood farms, business, associations, organizations. The government seems to have become the government of, for, by 1% against 99%.

I will no longer buy chickens

I will no longer buy chickens in the grocery store if I can't be sure where they are processed. The Chinese have killed our pets and their babies. Granted they took one guy out and shot him which is better than what we don't do here for gross greed and negligence. From what the article says about buying frozen preparing and then cooking them it sounds like stuff I would never buy anyway.

How to we appeal to our govt

How to we appeal to our govt to stop the insanity?
Go vegan perhaps ? Buy locally?

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