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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that China is eligible to export processed, cooked chicken to the United States.
•The United States is not importing any raw chicken from China.
•FSIS has determined that China’s poultry processing inspection system is equivalent to that of the United States, and cooked chicken imported from China would be processed under equivalent conditions as in the United States.
As always, FSIS is fully committed to protecting the nation’s food supply and if China begins exporting processed chicken products to the United States, all food safety steps will be taken as if the products were processed in the United States
FSIS continues to monitor China’s poultry processing system. The following measures are taken to ensure China maintains equivalence to the U.S. system:
•China must use a specific and standardized method to provide the United States with detailed information on all aspects of their food safety systems.
•Chicken products processed in China are subject to increased inspection upon entry into the United States.
•FSIS will audit China’s poultry processing system annually.
•If FSIS finds China to be exporting product that does not meet our food safety standards, China will no longer be eligible for export.
Unlike other meat imported to the U.S., the poultry shipped by Chinese processors will not require point-of-origin labeling. Under USDA rules, the labeling does not apply to foods that have been cooked.
"Consumers will have no way to tell if those chicken nuggets in the supermarket freezer were processed in the U.S. or in China," writes Bloomberg correspondent Adam Minter. Moreover, the USDA will not require its own regulators to supervise the processors on premises.
Point-of-origin labeling is relatively new in the U.S. (new rules went into effect and May), but has proved unpopular with meat producers. In July, industry groups filed a suit against the USDA, which charges that requiring more information about a product's origin on its label is too expensive and provides no benefit to public safety or health.
Will chicken processed in China be included in school lunches?
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service purchases approximately 20 percent of food for the National School Lunch Program on behalf of schools. The product purchased by AMS must be of 100 percent domestic origin, meaning that they are produced and processed from products which were produced, raised, and processed only in the United States.
Schools also make independent purchases on the commercial market to meet the needs of their students. These purchases are governed by section 12(n) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760), which requires participating schools to purchase domestically grown and processed foods, to the maximum extent practicable.
A domestic commodity/product is defined as “an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States and a food product that is processed in the United States substantially using agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States.” Schools can consider a product domestic if it is processed in the United States and comprised of at least 51 percent domestic ingredients Schools have the option of using only products that are 100 percent domestically grown and processed.
The 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act contains a section highlighting that a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object, partially or totally imbedded within it, cannot be sold within the United States, unless the FDA issues a regulation that the non-nutritive object has functional value.
Soaking foodstuffs in biocide and acid tattoo removal agents apparently has either a nutritive value or a functional value to the FDA, but "Oh Hell No!" can an adult purchase a high quality chocolate egg with a toy surprise in it.
The United States Government: Turning Cranial/Rectal Inversion into an Art Form since 1861.
DON'T WORRY THOUGH! The USDA assures us that the food will be safe....