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USDA's latest 'foreign policy' is a recipe for disaster

Will your next chicken dinner have a dark secret?

Eating has just become even more dangerous.

You may want to think twice about that bowl of chicken noodle soup, your favorite frozen chicken dinner, or a chicken pot pie.

That’s because of a new rule from the USDA. One that you won’t believe.

A rule that could turn your favorite chicken dinner into a nightmare.

It could be coming your way as soon as this summer. And the really scary part is that you won’t be able to tell what’s safe to eat from what’s not.

Last year the USDA approved a new trade arrangement with China. It’s something so crazy, that it sounds like someone made it up for a good laugh. But this is no joke.

Under this new rule raw chicken raised and slaughtered in the U.S. will be allowed to be sent thousands of miles to China. There, it will be trucked to a plant, processed, cooked and frozen, trucked back to port and shipped thousands of miles back to the U.S.

Certainly nothing could go wrong with that plan, right?

And if you’re wondering why the USDA wants China to get its hands on our chicken — and then send it back to us — well, many believe there’s a bigger deal hatching.

Experts say that the traveling chicken plan is a way to make nice with China so we can export more goods there.

And then there’s the money part. The average Chinese plant worker only makes around $1 an hour for processing poultry.

But it doesn’t really matter if this scheme is to save money or make more trade deals. This plan is a recipe for disaster. A big one.

First, China is not a place you want your food to come from.

Remember that big pet-food recall in 2007? Thousands of dogs and cats died because what was supposed to have been wheat gluten from China turned out to be a cheap, toxic chemical called melamine instead.

And pets haven’t been the only victims of dangerously cheap Chinese food processing.

  • Over 300,000 babies in China got sick, and some died, because of melamine-poisoned milk powder.
  • Rodent meat was sold to consumers in China and passed off as lamb.
  • Baby formula in that country was found to contain dangerous levels of mercury.
  • Toxic food containers are still in widespread use there.
  • An investigation uncovered that one in 10 meals in China are cooked using discarded restaurant oil taken from underground pipes.

And that’s just the appetizer in this toxic Chinese buffet.

The next course is — the avian flu.

That’s something the Chinese have been dealing with for some time. It’s a virus that experts say “jumped” from chickens and other birds to people there. And it’s deadly.

Because of that, the U.S. has a ban on importing any raw chicken from China. For now, anyway.

But the USDA says everything will be fine and dandy with its new plan. We’re safe because those Chinese plants will cook that chicken really well before it gets sent back to us. And that, it says, will be “adequate to destroy the avian influenza virus.”

Give me a break! We’re going to rely on a country that can’t keep its own babies safe from toxic food?

Where this Chinese-processed chicken could end up is anyone’s guess, since ready-to-eat products don’t have to be labeled.

It could be in your favorite frozen chicken dinner, or even fed to school kids in those questionable chicken nuggets. No one knows.

The only way to be sure — right now, anyway — that the chicken you’re getting didn’t spend time in China is to buy it raw and cook it yourself. And stay away from all ready-made chicken products.

Sources:
“Chicken from China?” Your seafood is already being processed there” Nancy Huehnergarth and Bettina Siegel, Food Safety News, March 4, 2012, foodsafetynews.com

“Chicken processed in China may begin showing up in U.S.” November 1, 2013, CBS News, sanfrancisco.bcslocal.com