Yet Again, Chinese Chicken Proves Unfit, But USDA Remains Committed to Its Importation
Statement from Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Washington, D.C.—”Today, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) publicly admitted that China’s poultry slaughter system is not equivalent to that of the United States, and thus China is not eligible to ship poultry products made from Chinese-raised chickens to the U.S. This acknowledgement was based on the March 2013 audit of China’s poultry slaughter system and China has submitted a corrective actions plan in response to the audit report. If FSIS concludes that the plan is adequate, it will conduct another verification audit to ensure that the identified problems have been addressed before moving forward with the rule making process.
“Meanwhile, FSIS — the very agency that today conceded that China’s food safety system is inadequate — has given the green light to allow processed chicken from China to enter U.S. Borders, just so the chickens are raised and slaughtered from an approved country such as the U.S., Canada and Chile. Regardless of when in the processing sequence chicken bound for American consumption passes through China, it is at risk since China’s food safety record is horrific and there are serious concerns with avian influenza.
“We have also just learned that USDA Secretary Vilsack is scheduled to visit China next week. We sincerely hope that this visit will not be a prelude to a new audit of the Chinese poultry slaughter system. USDA should stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars giving China third, fourth, fifth chances to clean up their act. USDA’s priority should be assuring that the poultry consumed in America is safe, not bending over backward to pave the way for Chinese chicken imports into the United States.”
The audit report of the Chinese poultry slaughter system can be found here: http://fwwat.ch/1ebvJYY
More information on the FSIS acceptance of processed chicken from China: http://fwwat.ch/1bBfOku
CONTACT: Anna Ghosh, 510-922-0075, [email protected]