Not COOL: China Will Soon Be Able To Import Cooked Chicken Into U.S. Without Labels of Origin

230px-McDonalds-Chicken-McNuggetsThe Obama Administration has quietly opened up the U.S. market to Chinese chicken – a move that alarms some public interest groups. Many consumers avoid China foods, including pet foods, due to a long series of contaminated and poisoned products coming from that country. Now the U.S. will allow four Chinese poultry plants to send processed chicken to American markets while hiding their origin. The problem is that by cooking the chicken, China can avoid new country-of-origins labels (COOL) at delis and other stores — resulting in consumers eating Chinese food products without knowing it.

The Chinese plants passed inspection and will be able to start processing chicken that has been slaughtered in the U.S. or other countries. This follows a hold on the operation after outbreaks of bird flu occurred this year in China, causing human illness and death.

A petition from Food and Water Watch accused the Administration of caving to Chinese pressure to secure a broader market for U.S. beef imports and said that China continues to fall behind on health and industry standards:

“It has been no secret that China has wanted to export chicken to the U.S. in exchange for reopening its market for beef from the U.S. that has been closed since 2003 due to the diagnosis of a cow in Washington State with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease. Today’s audit report reveals yet again that USDA is willing to allow trade to trump food safety.”

The loophole in country-of-origins labels (COOL) worries many that they will not be able to choose to avoid Chinese products. Presumably, delis, schools, and stores can still alert consumers but those using the cheaper products are unlikely to do so (though presumably delis and stores could advertise that they are China-product free as many pet stores have done).

Raw imported meat or fish have a COOL label describing where it was raised, slaughtered and processed. Chinese cooked meat will not have such a label and may be coming to schools and stores near you.

Source: Politico

62 thoughts on “Not COOL: China Will Soon Be Able To Import Cooked Chicken Into U.S. Without Labels of Origin”

  1. I do not understand, perhaps never will, Obama’s mindset. If we need more chickens here, encourage suppliers to increase output, and perhaps provide new jobs. A tax credit usually gets everybody going.

  2. US Agribusiness is against most labeling anyway. They not only doesn’t want to tell you where your food came from, but they also would like to not bother with telling you what is in it and how they made it.

    The whole pink slime issue was due to not putting it on the label. If they put it on the label, them the consumer can decide on whether they want to buy it or not. Instead what we get are Agribusiness lawsuits on the reporting and a publicity campaign of “Meat is Meat”. If “Meat is Meat” then I’m going to the store and demand that they sell me Filet Mignon for the same price as hamburger.

  3. Chinaphobia on display very reminiscent of fear over Japan, Inc. — I can’t vouch for Chinese chicken of course, but there’s over a billion people over there with a life expectancy just over 75 years in what is obviously still very much a developing country. If you look at the things from your grocery store, which are, from time to time labelled, you’ll find Mexican tomatoes, Chilean sea bass, shrimp from Vietnam. The ROMANS didn’t eat so well. From the beginning of Western civilization, a consistent meme has been the struggle to make trade contacts — WITH CHINA. The Portuguese made an empire to do just that. I want to trade with the Chinese people, they make ipads and other fantastic products and if they sell food, in this case processed chicken, it needs to meet the same regulatory hurdles faced by chicken vendors in the US.

  4. The Chinatown restaurant has marinated jellyfish on the menu. Here’s what I don’t understand, you marinate to tenderize and moisturize. I would think jellyfish to be quite moist!

  5. Karen, I would take students on trips to Chicago. Not the stale, teacher’s union trips, but outside the box. Chinatown was always a stop. We would go into Chinese markets and apothecaries. It was eye opening for these cheeseheads. We would eat @ different real ethnic restaurants including a couple in Chinatown. The one I always go to is always mostly Chinese customers, but their entrees don’t look like anything most folks order. I am adventurous. Squid ink is something we Italians use in pasta. The fresh pasta is infused w/ the ink. My old man would cook eel. Only he and I would eat it. Fine w/ us, we got more!

  6. Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter wrote “The Chinks killed my sister’s dog with tainted doggie treats!!!”

    And which companies manufactured them from Chinese ingredients? Del Monte and Nestle Purina, both U.S. companies.

    From the below article: “Those products included Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky Treats and Chicken Grillers, made by Del Monte, and Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats, made by Nestle Purina.”

    And: “products stamped ‘Made in the USA’ could still contain ingredients sourced from China or other countries.”

    You ignorant libertarians just kill me.

  7. Saucy – it is my understanding the Browns are nothing like those at Yearning for Zion, or any similar FLDS compound. Wrong is wrong, including if it’s FLDS. I was so glad when they locked up the pedophile leader of the YFZ community. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Sister Wives over the years, and I’d be shocked if the Browns allowed that. I still want to talk some sense into the wives who are satisfied with a fraction of a husband, waiting for their turn in the rotation, but that’s their business.

  8. Labeling the food allows the free market to work. In addition, we expect food bought in the US to conform to US Health Standards and the USDA.

    By hiding the country of origin, it prevents consumer choice, which is a cornerstone of the free market.

    In addition, there is no completely unfettered modern capitalism. It is subject to laws governing workplace safety, health, etc. When we speak about the “free market” and “capitalism”, no one is suggesting that we hide ingredients, mislabel, block labeling, or toss workers into an asbestos bath. Obviously, we refer to modern capitalism, which is the free market within the guidelines of reasonable regulations and laws.

  9. Nick:

    US Chinese restaurants are completely different than mainland. They’re governed by the Health Department, as all other restaurants. I personally enjoy Americanized Chinese food far more than authentic, but I’m not an adventurous eater. I recall when I was out at an authentic Chinese restaurant in China Town, trying to choose between tripe, birds nest soup, squid ink soup, or one of the lacquered ducks that had aged in the window, I was so happy to find a simple chicken soup. It arrived, and smelled delicious. But then the waiter cracked a raw egg in it with a flourish. The soup was no longer boiling, so the egg really just got cloudy rather than cooked. Cuisine is in the eye of the beholder! I’m sure a recent immigrant from China would feel the same difficulty adjusting to our palate.

    My problem is with the Chinese government, not its people. It’s the Communist government that lead to human rights abuses, pollution, and an utter disregard for its own people.

    My difficulty with the cuisine of mainland China is that dogs and cats are still typically viewed as food. Considering the QC problems in China, it is actually possible that an imported “chicken” nugget could be contaminated with dog or cat. I know it’s just part of their culture, and a cheap source of protein for the poor, but I love pets and it honestly bothers me.

  10. This blog post just cracks me up for all sorts of reasons.

    It gets better. Grilled Chinese chicken is bad enough, but fried chicken may very well be cooked with gutter oil, i.e. used cooking oil dredged from the sewers. And it’s not just Mainland China which does it; it’s also Taiwan.

    “You may never eat street food in China again after watching this video”
    Washington Post

    “Taiwan’s ‘Gutter Oil’ Scandal”
    New York Times


  11. Youreidding me saucy….I bet he won’t either since he is employed by Fixed News…. I think he is also trying to set himself up for a seat in the US Sct…

  12. Why would libertarians care about this? You guys think there should be no government regulations interfering with the “rights” of capitalists to do business. This is just the latest example of globalization and I’d bet that China has American partners. Bon appétit!

    I had an argument with a fool here months ago regarding Chinese imports of dangerous products. His position was that there were no Chinese imports of food into the U.S., so why worry? It’s time to worry.

    And on a completely different subject, one of Turley’s favorites, polygamy, the Salt Lake Tribune reported just seven days ago that the FLDS refuses to cooperate with the DOL on its use of child labor. Its defense is the Hobby Lobby case. I seriously doubt if Turley will write a blog entry on this subject even though it fits right in here.

  13. Paul, Eating a rare steak is safe, eating rare ground beef is not. The bacteria is on the surface of beef. As long as the surface is seared, the bacteria is killed. The problem w/ ground beef is any bacteria on the beef surface is ground up throughout. So, eating even a medium burger can be a problem.

  14. There was a piece on the Daily Mail website today about a Chinaman eating Japanese sushi and getting infected w/ a parasitic tapeworm. Parasites can only thrive by attaching to a host. So, NEVER be a host to a parasite. They suck you dry and will destroy you, moving on to another host.

    1. Nick – that is why I NEVER eat sushi. Cooked food only. Although I do like my steak to moo.

  15. @Nick,

    Except for the cat thing. Oh, and when the 55 Sacramento bus was too full to make it over Nob Hill and the driver asked some of the passengers to get off, the Chinese on the bus always pretended they didn’t understand a word and didn’t move a muscle. But other than that I agree 100%.

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