USDA, Schumer at odds over Chinese chicken

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – US Sen. Charles Schumer said the US Department of Agriculture plans to allow imports of chicken raised and slaughtered in China, and he's not happy about it.

Schumer told radio station WCBC 880 that China had been a source of food poisoning in the United States for years and that the USDA's plan to allow imports of poultry slaughtered and processed in China poses a food safety risk to American consumers.

In August, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said China's poultry processing systems are equivalent to systems in the US, which means China may export processed chicken to the US if the product is fully cooked before export. However, FSIS said the agency is currently auditing China's slaughter inspection system, and that no chickens raised or slaughtered in China may be shipped to the US even if they are processed.

FSIS is legally bound to move forward with an audit. In 2010, a World Trade Organization panel ruled that the US was in violation of a number of its trade obligations by preventing Chinese chicken parts from entering the US market. In December 2010, China requested an FSIS audit of its poultry slaughter system. FSIS said the agency has not released the results of the audit because it has not been finalized. But China will be required to take corrective actions if problems are found with China's poultry slaughtering process.

In response to Sen. Schumer's statement that the USDA found China's poultry slaughter system equivalent to that of US, USDA said: "USDA has not found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent and therefore poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed to be imported to the United States. The US food supply is among the safest in the world, and the Food Safety Inspection Service is dedicated to maintaining that status."
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By Tom Ambrosia 11/11/2013 11:18:41 AM
11 11 13 Thank you VETS for your service to the USA. Now I am one who never agrees with a politician but in this case Schumer from NY is correct. How is it possible China can raise, slaughter and ship by water chicken cheaper than we do it in the USA? How come the Chicken farmers are not up in arms over this. How is it just this date I received an email alert that USDA has ruled China's Food Safety Program does not meet minimum USDA requirements. How is it that there will be no USDA inspectors in the Chinese slaughter plants. I have inspected plants in Asia and if I see anything on a package of food made anywhere in Asia that food does not come into my home, and that includes pet food and treats. Sadly pet food from China/Asia is contaminated and only in the lats few weeks is FDA finally making a half hearted stand. I say any country who wants to import to the USA it must meet all USDA, FDA standards. If USDA, FDA is going to drive our domestic plants to jump through hoops then it must also apply to any country importing food human and animal into the USA.