Skip to content

USDA on board with shipping U.S. chickens to China for processing, then re-entry to States for human consumption

June 9, 2014
tags: ,
Source …..

Processed chickens are transported on a truck at a municipal poultry slaughterhouse in Lima

At a time when less-than-desirable food quality issues and iffy food practices surrounding China and its seafood processing/shipments with the United States exist, another shocking piece of news has emerged, this time involving chickens.


The USDA is on board with allowing U.S. chickens to be sent to China for processing before they are then shipped back to the United States for human consumption (1). To make matters worse, consumers won’t know if the chicken they select was one processed in China, since there isn’t a labeling regulation in place to indicate it as such. And yes, it gets even more unsettling: there currently aren’t any plans for a USDA inspector to be on the premises in the China plants where the processing will take place.

Health and economic consequences of foods coming from China

Questions as to the logic surrounding this export/import abound.

From a health perspective, food safety measures used in China are undeniably eyebrow-raising. Regarding seafood from China, studies have found it to have detectable levels of formaldehyde and in farm-raised tilapia, antibiotics and toxins have been discovered (2). Other food issues pertaining to China have surfaced, included hundreds of thousands of Chinese children who have died from tainted milk powder and the deception of Chinese consumers who purchased lamb, only to learn that they were eating a combination of small mammals such as rats (2).

From an economic perspective, ” . . . it doesn’t make much sense,” says Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council. “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.”

Bettina Siegel, best known for her criticism of “pink slime” meat fillers, encouraged others to petition the U.S.-China chicken export/import that is embraced by the USDA (3). “Given China’s really horrible food safety record, this is a matter of great concern for both parents of children who eat school food, as well as any consumer who buys chicken-based products such as canned soup or nuggets in the supermarket,” she says.

Clearly, one way to avoid this is to primarily eat fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and shop at local farmer’s markets.

Still, it doesn’t make this news any less disturbing.

Sources for this article include:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2015 12:31 am

    Reblogged this on "Other Issues".

  2. June 9, 2014 10:20 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: