HERD ABOUT IT? by ana grarian
The US has OK’d a proposal to allow chicken raised and slaughtered in the US (or countries with equivalent standards) to be shipped to China for processing, and then shipped back to the US for sale, with no labeling to indicate the country(ies?) of origin.
OK. Stop to think about that. This isn’t going to be some hoity-toity specialized product that will cost big $$$ and can only be created in a geo-specific cave by artisan monks.. These will be your nuggets and patties and texturized poultry pieces that will be served in school lunches, fast food joints, and the kitchen tables of folks who grocery shop with limited funds.
Something is really peculiar in the shipping industry when it has become cheaper to ship something around the world for processing. I mean – have you tried to ship a package recently? The trend toward gift cards is in part because it costs more to send Grandpa his birthday present, than it does to buy it in the first place. I don’t care which service you use.
And of course we can be certain that the only processed chicken we receive will have been chicken grown and slaughtered here.
I wonder, could some wiley entrepreneur who chooses to voluntarily partly label his chicken products
actually use this to gain from the ‘local foods’ trend?
These here chicken nuggets were raised and slaughtered at Capt. Joe’s Perfect Poultry just down the road! (just before Capt. Joe containerized em’, shipped em’ to China, doused them with ammonia, slapped em’ into pretty shapes and shipped em’ back to ya)
I know that a Chinese company has purchased Smithfield pork producing factories. Have they also purchased into US based poultry factories? My internet searches have brought up Mexican and South American purchases of US poultry producers (perhaps they have equivalent standards), and interestingly, Goldman Sachs buying Chinese poultry farms.
Hmm – Goldman Sachs???? This is considered a first step to allowing Chinese raised poultry to be sold in US. Some wonks are saying that China has upgraded it’s standards to be equivalent to US standards.
When you consider the horrendous conditions of US industrial poultry farms, the abuse of employees in US slaughter plants, and add in the idea of chicken being shipped around the world for processing in plants where we have no control over sanitation (not that our poultry facilities are actually continuously monitored) –
that $15 organic free-range chicken looks like a very good deal.
I don’t really intend this to be a diatribe against the Chinese. I truly believe that our poultry raising and processing plants are awful places, that do not live up to the ‘standards’ we supposedly set. I would be having this rant if we were shipping chicken to Australia, France or any other country. It does not make any sense in any way to ship a product back and forth around the globe, and be able to sell it at a discount price. Add in a product that is sensitive to contamination (spell salmonella) and this is a ridiculous recipe for disaster. And what is the carbon footprint of such a product?