Why did the Chicken Cross the…Pacific? | Food & Water Watch
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June 16th, 2009

Why did the Chicken Cross the…Pacific?

It seems like year after year the same ol battle wages on about whether or not the U.S. should keep a ban on importing chicken from China.  And the same players are behind the effort this year (who else but Big Ag?), working hard to pressure the Obama administration and Congress to lift the ban.

Chickens in cages

While visiting Chinese facilities a few years ago, U.S. inspectors found defective equipment, lack of employee hygiene, unsanitary conditions, and an absence of regulations requiring pre-shipment testing for Salmonella, E. coli and other contaminants. And don’t forget about the hundreds of other products from China, ranging from seafood to cosmetics, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration blocked at the border in recent years because they contained dangerous substances or violated other rules.

At least we have U.S. chicken to fall back on, right?  But there’s still work to be done in this country to make sure we have safe chicken to eat. A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cites poultry as the most commonly identified source of food poisoning in the U.S. in 2006. And that’s with a food safety net. Map of China

So, why would we bring in product from somewhere like China, where food safety problems are widespread and even the government admits it doesn’t have control?  The truth behind the push to “ban the ban” is coming from the meat industry because they want to get China to open its markets to U.S. beef and pork.

Later this week, the House appropriations committee will decide whether or not to keep a provision in the USDA budget that prohibits the agency from allowing processed poultry products from China to enter the United States.

Well keep you posted on what they decide. But in the meantime, what do you think? Should we keep the ban on Chinese chicken or “ban the ban”?

- Erin Greenfield

One Comment on Why did the Chicken Cross the…Pacific?

  1. Mrs. Tonya Cunningham says:

    We have regulations in this country to keep illnesses from being widespread, we have regulations in our restraunts, why do we want to risk the health of many americans with widespread illnesses by importing their products that does not have regulations on it. we do not want our children to put this in their mouths, would you feed your child a chicken sandwich that has been contaminated, if not then why would you let the importation of poultry from China.
    We have to take a stand against this and not allow the ban to be lifted, protect the lives and health of those americans that do care what they eat.

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