The Change.org petition I launched in January with Nancy Huehnergarth and Barbara Kowalcyk, protesting the inclusion of Chinese-processed chicken in school meals, now has over 308,000 signatures. Clearly a lot of you share our concern about that country’s terrible food safety record.
But are we creating a tempest in a teapot? One refrain we’ve heard since launching the petition is that it just doesn’t make economic sense for any U.S. company to transport chicken a total of 14,000 miles solely to have it cooked. For example, in a recent Houston Chronicle article about our petition, Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, said:
“Economically, it doesn’t make much sense,” Super said. “Think about it: A Chinese company would have to purchase frozen chicken in the United States, pay to ship it 7,000 miles, unload it, transport it to a processing plant, unpack it, cut it up, process/cook it, freeze it, repack it, transport it back to a port, then ship it another 7,000 miles. I don’t know how anyone could make a profit doing that.”
But guess what? The exact same arrangement is already being used – and quite profitably so – by purveyors of Pacific seafood who send their salmon and crab to China for de-boning and shelling. Yesterday, my co-petitioner Nancy Huehnergarth and I published a piece on the Huffington Post (also appearing on Food Safety News) explaining how it all works.
Please take a look at the HuffPo piece and, if you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to sign and share our petition. Every name counts in this effort to ensure that the chicken served in school meals — and sold in our supermarkets — meets our own country’s safety standards.
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