Washington, D.C.—Today, several consumer advocacy groups and a labor organization, all members of the Safe Food Coalition, urged the leaders of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to include a provision in the final FY 2015 funding bill for USDA that would prohibit the department from purchasing any food product that contains processed poultry from the People’s Republic of China for various nutrition programs USDA administers.
In the letter that was sent today, the organizations requested that legislative language offered by Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and adopted unanimously by the full House Appropriations Committee on May 29, 2014 be included in the final funding bill for USDA. Section 742 of H.R. 4800, the FY 2015 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill would prohibit USDA from purchasing food products made with processed poultry products imported from the People’s Republic of China for the National School Lunch, the Child and Adult Food Care, the National School Breakfast and the Summer Food Service Programs. The Senate version of the FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill is silent on the issue.
“Due to China’s lax food safety standards, there have been numerous scandals involving that country’s food production methods,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The federal government should protect American consumers by ensuring that poultry products from China are not allowed in any USDA-administered nutrition programs. We urge Congress to protect our children by including this important language in the final funding measure for USDA.”
The letter was prompted by the announcement on November 5, 2014 by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service that four Chinese poultry processing facilities had been certified to export poultry products to the U.S.
Today’s letter was signed by Carol Tucker Foreman, former Assistant USDA Secretary for Food and Consumer Services and founder of the Safe Food Coalition; Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention; Consumer Federation of America; Consumers Union; Food & Water Watch; Government Accountability Project; National Consumers League; STOP Foodborne Illness; and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, kfried(at)fwwatch(dot)org.