China could be processing chickens. The USDA has approved this possible change. According to a March 9 report by Nation of Change, the plan is to have chickens shipped from America to China where they will be processed and then shipped back to America.
Although it appears with all the additional shipping it would be more expensive, lobbyists and members of the chicken industry insist that it will work economically. According to those lobbyists and members of the industry, chickens will never be shipped unless it is cost-effective.
The USDA wants to make this agreement with China, despite the country's “sub-par food safety record.” Making matters worse, there are no plans to have “on-site” USDA safety inspectors at the chicken processing plants in China.
“This is a stupid thing to do,” Dan Martinson, from Oklahoma City, said. “They can't make safe dog food, but the USDA is going to send chicken people would eat to China to process. That is dangerous, maybe even deadly.”
Seafood is already being being sent from America to China for processing and then it is sent back. This is being done at a “significant cost savings.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American poultry processors are paid about $11 per hour. Chinese poultry processors are paid much less. The earn about $1 to $2 per hour. The lower payer appears to be the reason shipping chicken to China is a good fiscal decision.
In addition to the safety concerns, there appears to be no way that American jobs will not be lost. Sending chicken to China for processing will mean that many Americans will not have the jobs they currently have.
All of this information is not being taken lightly by the Food Safety News. They are currently working to spread awareness of what the USDA is planning to do. They are hoping to stop the chicken processed in China from ever appearing in American grocery stores and schools.