The USDA announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. What is more interesting is that these products can now be offered in the United States without a country-of-origin label.
In China, thousands of dead pigs turned up in the waters of Shanghai, rat meat was passed off as mutton and– perhaps most disconcerting for American customers– there was an outbreak of the among live fowl in fresh meat markets.
Firstly, the chickens will be slaughtered in the United States, or another country that is allowed to export butchered chicken to the United States. After that, the chickens will be delivered to China for processing and re-export.
But, according to the New York City Times, the problem is that no USDA inspectors will exist in the Chinese processing plants. As a consequence, the customers will have no assurances where the processed chickens remained in fact butchered. What is even worse, the USDA will not need point-of-origin labeling, because the birds will be processed.
This implies to the fact that customers will have no chance to tell if those chicken nuggets in the supermarket freezer were processed in the U.S. or in China.
A comparable process is currently being used for U.S. seafood.
According to the Seattle Times, locally caught Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are being processed in China and shipped back to the United States, because of significant cost savings.
” There are 36 pin bones in a salmon and the best way to remove them is by hand,” says Charles Bundrant, founder of Trident, which ships about 30 million pounds of its 1.2 billion-pound yearly harvest to China for processing. “Something that would cost us $1 per pound labor here, they get it provided for 20 cents in China.”