The next time you purchase chicken in the grocery store marked "Product of the USA," you might actually be purchasing chicken cooked and processed in China. Confusing? That's exactly how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants it to be.
Chickens imported from China are banned, but the USDA has found a huge legal loophole to allow meat manufacturers to still take advantage of the cheap labor and lax food safety regulations there. Chickens raised and slaughtered in the US but cooked and processed in China can still be labeled as a "Product of the USA."
Chinese meat production does not have to meet US food safety standards, and historically Chinese processing facilities have been notorious for cross contamination and mixing hazardous and toxic substances into food products. There will be no way for American consumers to tell whether or not the meat prepared in China was safe or whether any additives were used. This is serious cause for alarm.
You deserve to know if your chicken took a detour in China. Tell the USDA to ban imported chicken products from China.
Dear Dr. Morris,
I am writing to urge you to ban all imported chicken products from China, even if the chickens originate from the US.
You recently allowed four meat processing plants in China to process poultry made with chickens raised and slaughtered in the US. The product label will say "Product of the USA," which is very misleading. Unless you're willing to label it "Made in China," consumers won't have any way of knowing where their chicken was actually processed.
Just this past year, China's bird flu outbreaks caused human illnesses and deaths. In the past, inspections of meat processing plants in China revealed unsafe and unsanitary conditions that were not up to US safety standards.
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Please do not let imported chicken products from China reach our households.
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