USDA's Latest Decision Could Bring Tainted Food to Your Table
There are no edible chickens in China, so why are we eating them? On Friday, the Department of Agriculture approved four Chinese poultry processors to ship poultry to the U.S. With much hype around China's scandalous food safety regulations, it's interesting that the USDA standards matched that of People's Republic of China's (PRC) food safety system. Although the shipped poultry must be cooked from birds raised in the U.S., advocates believe it increases chances for future shipments of uncooked chicken raised and slaughtered in China. This shouldn't come across as such a shock given USDA food safety regulations are not nearly as safe as Americans wish to believe.
There are two issues at hand: First, is there a reason to import food from countries known for their precarious food safety issues? Second, there is enough farmland; why aren't we purchasing U.S. raised and processed chicken? Through sustainable efforts, the U.S. can establish local food systems, which in turn, supports local economies. The main reason the USDA still caves on approving unhealthy food standards is an economic one. The USDA and FDA are usually in bed with the unscrupulous food corporations like Kraft to pass less-than-favorable food safety standards.
With China still dealing with residue from the avian flu, it is important that we focus on keeping our own food supply stable while raising the level of food quality.
There's nothing new about the USDA's lack of ethics and intelligence when it comes to the management and processing of food in the U.S. Critics and advocates have every right to be concerned about poultry handled in China. According to Yahoo Finance, because there won't be "USDA inspectors in the Chinese processing plants (despite the fact that China has never before been allowed to export chicken to the U.S.), the USDA will not require point-of-origin labeling."
That means you won't know if you're eating Chinese or American poultry. The most sustainable and effective method in solving these food safety issues is to localize economies through the agricultural development of local food systems.
Let's put our food in the hands of people who care. You are what you eat. Don't be an unhealthy chicken.