Why would any nation outsource a majorly distributed component of its food supply to an enemy nation with a record of poultry-related killer diseases?
I find this story deeply disturbing on a number of levels, one, we are outsourcing a widely-distributed food product to an enemy nation; two, we are destroying American jobs in the process, and we are weakening the regulatory agencies of the federal government that were designed to make food safer for consumption. I would rather shift funding from inconsequential cubicle workers to have more food inspectors.
Is That Chicken Nugget Made in China? You’ll Never Know
“ … stunning to learn this month that chickens raised and slaughtered in the U.S. may soon be sent for cooking and processing to China, then sent back to the U.S. to be sold in fast-food restaurants and supermarkets.”
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given permission for four food processors in China to export cooked poultry products made from chickens raised in the U.S. and Canada.
But don’t think you’ll be able to tell from the label if your chicken nuggets, fast-food chicken sandwich or chicken noodle soup bits have traveled to China and back. You won’t. Federal labeling regulations — called country-of-origin labeling — apply only to identifying food that originated outside the U.S., not where it was processed.
Considering China’s checkered reputation for following food-safety guidelines — the deadly bird-flu outbreaks, and tainted baby formula and pet food, among other issues — lawmakers have blocked the USDA from allowing China to ship chicken to the U.S. for years.
Not surprisingly, critics slammed the new decision, especially because the plants approved to sell to the U.S. will not have USDA inspectors on site.
The safety of imported food, which is overseen not by the USDA but by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has long been a source of concern. The website Wired, which has written extensively about China’s controversial history of food-safety problems, notes that the FDA “has been struggling for years with guaranteeing the safety of imports.”
As Wired pointed out: “Reports by the Government Accountability Office, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Pew Charitable Trusts and Center for Science in the Public Interest all found that the FDA could not keep up with the task; estimating that its inspectors were able to lay hands on no more than 2 percent of imported foods.”
No joke …
Dear Dr. Li:
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture
FSIS submitted the draft audit report on June 28, 2013 and PRC responded on August 29, 2013 with a few minor suggestions.
The draft audit report was update with your suggestions. Enclosed is a copy of the final audit
As all outstanding issues have been resolved, the PRC may proceed with certifying a list of poultry processing establishments as meeting the FSIS requirements.
These certified establishments may then begin exporting processed (heat-treated/cooked) poultry products to the United States under the conditions established in FSIS' Apri12006 final rule; i.e. only processed poultry products produced from poultry slaughtered under FSIS inspection in the United States or in a country eligible to export slaughtered poultry to the United States.
If you have any questions, please contact me at telephone number 202-720-6400, facsimile
Andreas Keller, Director
Keller is a well-credentialed, well-qualified, experienced individual with service with both the USDA and the FDA. He has a PhD in Food Science and Nutrition – but he is responsive to his political bosses.
Outsourcing food safety to an “unsafe” environment …
The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the current strain of bird flu that is causing illness and deaths in China cannot spark a pandemic in its current form - but he added that there is no guarantee it will not mutate and cause a serious pandemic.
In an exclusive interview at the Reuters Health Summit in New York, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said more than 2,000 people have been in contact with infected individuals, and only a handful have become ill. Virtually all of the rest have had direct contact with poultry, the identified cause of the virus.
"This particular virus is not going to cause a pandemic because it doesn't spread person-to-person," Frieden said. "But all it takes is a bit of mutation for it be able to go person-to-person. I cannot say with certainty whether that will happen tomorrow, within 10 years or never."
The new strain of bird flu known as H7N9, which began infecting people in February, has so far sickened at least 127 people and killed 27. According to the latest CDC estimates, the flu kills about 20 percent of the people it infects.
The United States has been working closely with Chinese health officials, and has recently distributed test kits to detect this new strain of flu, which has never before appeared in humans.
Tests by Chinese health officials have found the virus in chickens, ducks and pigeons, but Frieden said it is not yet clear how the virus spreads in birds. New strains of flu present a threat because if they do become easily transmissible, they might quickly spread around the globe, attacking individuals who have no natural defense against the virus. Source: CDC: Current China Bird Flu Strain Can't Cause Pandemic
Bottom line …
- Are we going to trust our food supply and our health to a nation without direct supervision of its processing plants and the health status of its workers?
- Are we going to hope that some corrupt processor will not slip in some domestic product to goose (pun intended) their profits?
- Are we going to allow our government to make the American food supply less safe due to the actions of an unknown lobbyist?
- Are we going to ship even more jobs overseas, making America more vulnerable in the case of a global crisis, such as the one brewing between China, Taiwan, Vietnam and other nations in the Chinese sphere of influence?
- But, most importantly, are we going to allow our federal government to downgrade important federal regulatory agencies that keep us safe?
And, will the Obama Administration be responsible for the deaths of Americans should a pandemic break out from under-processed food? At the very least, American consumers are entitled to labeling that will alert them to any possible risk.
Should McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, or any fast food operation use this chicken, I will be going elsewhere!
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS