In January of this year, I and fellow food advocate Nancy Hueherngarth launched a Change.org petition seeking to prevent the inclusion of Chinese-processed poultry products in school meals due to our serious concerns about China’s food safety record. To date, almost 330,000 concerned people have joined us in this effort by signing the petition.
We are so pleased to tell you that this morning President Obama signed into law the fiscal year 2015 omnibus spending bill containing language which will prevent the use of Chinese-processed chicken in school food and other child nutrition programs. Accordingly, we are declaring victory on the petition and we’ll be sending out a letter to all of our supporters shortly.
In the meantime, we want to thank Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who introduced the amendment in the House, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, who co-sponsored it, as well as Food & Water Watch and the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention. These individuals and organizations have worked tirelessly for years to prevent the importation of Chinese chicken and Chinese-processed poultry products.
To continue to keep Chinese-processed chicken out of school meals and other federal child nutrition programs, this provision will need to appear in subsequent annual appropriations bills, or it will need to be included in the five-year child nutrition reauthorization bill in 2015. Our hope is that it will be included in the latter, and if you signed our petition, we may again contact you if your support is needed to help make that happen.
Also, it’s important to remember that food manufacturers may still choose to include Chinese-processed chicken in their products and the labels on those products may not indicate where the processing occurred. If we learn of any food companies taking advantage of Chinese poultry processing, and if you signed our petition, you’ll receive an immediate update from me and Nancy.
In the meantime, please know that our voices were heard by Congress. Thank you all for your support!