Poultry trade groups filed a joint submission Aug. 15 in support of the USDA’s proposed rule to allow China to export cooked chicken to the U.S. Opposition groups are also being vocal about the potential limitations of the proposal.
The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council agree that the Food Safety and Inspection Services has done enough careful assessment of China’s slaughter facilities and inspection system to create a vigilant regulatory process for the import of their product.
“Unfortunately, FSIS has at times received criticisms that its proposals to permit China to export to the U.S. market do not adequately protect the safety of U.S. consumers. Those criticisms are not, in our view, based on any scientific evidence or risk assessment,” the groups said in comments.
The trade groups released extensive comments broken into three categories to further expand their reasons for support.
“The U.S. poultry industry has carefully followed this process from the beginning and is convinced that FSIS has conducted careful and systematic reviews and audits in compliance with U.S. law, and in a manner consistent with international norms,” the poultry trade groups said in the release.
Opposition groups are singing a different tune. Food & Water Watch has been an active voice opposing the proposed rule calling it an “ill-conceived and contrived proposition.”
FSIS conducted two audits in 2015 for the processing and slaughter inspection system in the People’s Republic of China. They visited three certified processing facilities and a poultry processing facility operated by the U.S. based company Cargill and found no major issues. However, Food & Water Watch says the audit was inaccurate.
“As past audits have shown, the PRC has had difficulty in ensuring that its provincial inspection offices are all rowing in the same direction. By limiting FSIS to evaluating two provincial offices, the PRC has manipulated the review to demonstrate that at least those two can be consistent,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.
Food & Water Watch strongly urged FSIS to withdraw the proposed rule, even mentioning that Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has expressed strong safety concerns.
“If Congress believes that these products are unsafe to serve our children, then they should be kept out of our grocery stores and restaurants,” said Hauter.
The provisions supported by poultry trade groups are currently included in the agriculture appropriations bill. Some of the major ones include ensuring that poultry products exported to the U.S. maintain the same level of public health protection to which the U.S. plants adhere to and conduct re-inspections of poultry products at U.S. ports-of-entry for proper certification and labeling.
The poultry trade groups are eager to start this new trade and compete effectively with China on a global scale. “We believe any country that is able to meet the stringent safety standards set by FSIS should be able to compete in a marketplace free of protectionism and artificial trade barriers,” trade groups said.
The deadline for public comments closed Aug. 15. Nina Anand, an official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told Bloomberg BNA in an email, with the comment period now closed, the FSIS will assess the feedback and based on all the evidence before the agency, they will make a final determination.
To contact the reporter on this story: Teaganne Finn in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)