??? Export chicken to China, have them “cook” it and send back to US to be sold as Buffalo wings or nuggets???
American consumers need USDA “on station” to inspect chicken processing as it occurs in China, and a “labeling gap” is putting U.S. food safety at risk, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) suggests in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Brown also raised numerous questions with Vilsack about Chinese chicken processors being approved to process chicken raised in the U.S., Canada or Chile and then export the cooked chicken back here.
Since the news leaked (just before USDA announced it on Aug. 30) that four Chinese chicken processors are being green-lighted for exporting cooked chicken to the U.S., it’s become one of this nation’s hotter discussion topics.
“Given the well-documented shortcomings of the Chinese food safety system, we shouldn’t allow unmarked meat into our markets that is processed in Chinese facilities that are not subject to food safety inspections,” Brown stated in a press release accompanying his letter to Vilsack. “This action could endanger the health and safety of American consumers and potentially undermines confidence in our nation’s food safety standards.”
Meat and poultry imported to the U.S. is subject to inspection by the foreign country, which must maintain a food-safety inspection system that is equivalent to USDA’s. “Equivalence” was originally established in 2006 for the People’s Republic of China’s food-safety inspection system for processed poultry after a two-year review by a USDA audit team.