USDA On Board With Shipping U.S. Chickens To China For Processing, Then Back To The U.S. For Human Consumption

"Chinese chicken" will soon have an entire brand-new meaning, as the United States Department of Agriculture recently turned on the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, enabling chicken raised and butchered in the U.S. to be exported to China for processing, then delivered back to the U.S. and sold on grocery racks here. In addition, the imported processed poultry will not need a country-of-origin label nor will U.S. inspectors be on site at processing plants in China prior to it is shipped to the United States for human consumption.

Food security experts fret about the quality of chicken processed in a country notorious for avian influenza and food-borne diseases. And they forecast that China will eventually look to expand the export rules to allow chickens born and raised in China.

" Economically, it does not make much sense," stated Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, in a current interview with the Houston Chronicle. "Think about it: A Chinese company would need to purchase frozen chicken in the United States, pay to ship it 7,000 miles, unload it, transfer it to a processing plant, unload it, sufficed up, process/cook it, freeze it, repack it, transport it back to a port, then deliver it another 7,000 miles. I do not know how anyone could earn a profit doing that."

Bureau of Labor Statistics information price quotes that American poultry processors are paid approximately $11 per hour typically. In China, reports have flowed that the country's chicken workers can make significantly less--$ 1 to 2 per hour-- which calls into question Super's economic feasibility evaluation.

This procedure is already being utilized for U.S. seafood. According to the Seattle Times, locally caught Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are presently being processed in China and delivered back to the U.S., all due to the fact that of significant expense savings:

... fish processors in the Northwest, including Seattle-based Trident Seafoods, are sending out part of their catch of Alaskan salmon or Dungeness crab to China to be filleted or de-shelled prior to going back to U.S. tables.

" There are 36 pin bones in a salmon and the best way to get rid of them is by hand," states Charles Bundrant, creator 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 provided for 20 cents in China."

China has an infamous track record as one of the world's worst food safety offenders.

Earlier this year, the United States Fda (FDA) launched a report on a Chinese chicken jerky maker that produced canine treats, tied to more than 500 dogs' deaths.

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

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