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Chicken raised here to be processed in China and sent back?

One of our local politicians is bringing this to the forefront in today's paper, apparently this in the near future.

"The USDA this month approved the sale of chickens raised in the United States but processed in China to be sold back in the United States."

Anyone know more than this? After all the pet food scares, not sure what to think.

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  1. It is insane for so many reasons. First off, not only will they allow these imports, but there will be no USDA inspectors over in China. The Chinese processors will be allowed to self-certify. OK, then. That's very reassuring, given that they've sent us melamine in pet food, lead in the paint on childrens' toys, toothpaste containing a component of antifreeze, and let's not forget about the toxic drywall. But what the heck, let's trust them to not slip in any chicken raised and slaughtered in China.

    But what really blows my mind is the incredible waste involved in shipping chicken from the U.S. to China, processing it there, and shipping it back. What is the carbon cost of this ludicrous activity? And then we'll be upset when it turns out that the only way to do this profitably is to pay Chinese workers a pittance and force them to work in terrible conditions.

    Will we ever learn?

    1. There's already a thread here:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/915866

      It was very quietly announced by the USDA. NO inspectors. This isn't just chicken - it's ANYTHING processed, such as chicken stock. Umm, did they forget both swine and avian flu in China?

      As JV said - the cost factor to ship the chickens over there and then back? Insane. This needs to be put out in the news a LOT more. The outrage is not nearly high enough!

      11 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Thanks, I'm not so in love with chicken that I can't cross it off my list.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Oh please. an NPR opinion article? are you kidding?? Show me. via a ligit govt website, where this is valid.

            1. re: treb

              I heard about it in the local papers, don't think the USDA is going to be bragging about it. My newspaper can't be linked, and I'm not saying the NY Post might be the best source of "legit": But it's apparently true either way. Chuck Schumer is on the case!

              http://nypost.com/2013/09/15/schumer-...

                1. re: treb

                  Oh please, yourself.

                  Did you even bother to click on the NPR link that *HAS* a link to an official governmental announcement?

                  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/conn...

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    All this states is that facilities have been audited for food safety inspection. In addition, it states that the poultry will be exported 'cooked' which the topic of this thread has omitted. Also, this has not been implemented. Do you feel the same about all imported foods? Look I don't think we should rely on China for anything, 'cus if we continue much further, ie fed debt bond purchases, they'll own us.

                    1. re: treb

                      treb 7 minutes ago:
                      "Do you feel the same about all imported foods?"

                      Imported from China? Yes.

                      1. re: bonoeuf

                        What about 'ALL' countries? Especially 3rd world?

                      2. re: treb

                        Chinese people in China won't even buy baby formular made there.

                2. Sounds like an idea to strip the gears of the locavore movement!

                  Here's a chicken raised right near me here in Indiana, sent to China for processing, and now back at my local Walmart, all pretty-like...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bada Bing

                    It may be suddenly legal, but economically it makes no sense and is unlikely to happen or to be a source of concern.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      This is my fervent hope. Or at least that it will be labeled as from China! But apparently that's not part of the deal.

                  2. Follow the money. Who is pushing the USDA to allow this to happen? Tyson? Walmart? Just wondering. And if we didn't insist our food be so cheap then there wouldn't be the incentive to lower and lower costs. All at the expense of our environment, workers both here and in china and our health.

                    1. Sounds good to me. Anything to drop the price of a 10 lb. bag of chicken quarters below $5 works for me. Plus we are exporting the processing waste that is polluting our rivers.

                      It is not like the vast majority of participants on this site are going to be purchasing these products in their normal grocery shopping.

                      1. I was commercial fishing in Alaska in 2007. I was told that some Alaska salmon was shipped to China for processing. Internet research proved it was true. One story I heard, some bad canned salmon was shipped from Alaska to the UK, as a result salmon processed in China was preferred over salmon processed in Alaska. Can any UK members comment on that?

                        Around that time, I heard that much of California's squid is shipped to China for processing.

                        If the price seems low, maybe it is "imported".

                        1. New York Times editorial board catches on:

                          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/opi...

                          And gets it wrong in alluding to avian flu. The following methods are among the dozen or so approved and required by the USDA to inactivate Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza:

                          • A heat treatment at a minimum of 56 degrees C for a minimum of 3 hours; OR

                          • A heat treatment at a minimum of 60 degrees C for a minimum of 30 minutes; OR

                          • A heat treatment at a minimum of 100 degrees C for a minimum of 20 minutes...

                          So that issue actually goes away. Why do we regard the writers and editors of even this most respected mainstream media outlet as any more knowledgeable or diligent than the rest of us? They didn't do their homework on this one.