A ban on selling Chinese chicken in the United States has been proposed by a Change.org petition, and it’s getting lots of support.
Concerns that chicken from the Asian country could soon make its way into the United States food supply prompted the petition, which has more than 250,000 signatures. It seems folks are not eager to be chomping down on Chinese chicken nuggets.
The Chinese chicken ban organizers refer to themselves simply as “three concerned moms and food safety advocates.” The women also stated that they are hoping that the Change.org petition will prompt both Congress and the USDA to ban poultry processed in China from public school menus and prevent the meat from ever making it to the American market.
As Off The Grid News previously reported, last year the US Department of Agriculture announced that chicken processed in China would be allowed to be sold in the United States.
Dr. Barbara Kowalyck, one of the Chinese chicken petition organizers, said:
I know first-hand the devastating impact of a breakdown in the food safety system. China has had numerous problems with food safety, and it is clear that, as of now, they do not have a robust food safety system. Importing poultry that has been processed in China is risky, and it’s a risk we don’t have to take and should not be forced to take. Food safety should never be taken for granted – especially when our children are involved.
If the widely circulated reports are accurate, the USDA might also soon permit the outright importation of poultry raised and slaughtered in China.
In 2001 Dr. Kowalyck’s toddler son died from complications related to an E. coli infection. In her position as a faculty members at North Carolina State University, she has worked tirelessly on the food safety front and co-founded the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention. She also serves on the advisory board for the Health Policy Institute’s Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University and has been a member of the USDA National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.
The Philippines recently banned Chinese chicken over fears that the “highly pathogenic “avian influenza (bird flu), HPAI, was present in the poultry. The ban was enacted after evidence reportedly revealed that food safety failures have occurred multiple times. The food security incidents include dangerous levels of mercury being found in baby formula, rat meat sold as lamb, and the discovery of thousands of diseased pig carcasses in the Huangpu River.
As previously reported by Off The Grid News, the deadly avian influenza virus may be spreading between people. Researchers believe that a woman in China caught the flu, or H7N9 virus, from her father and not from poultry. Both the woman and her father died from the disease. The woman, just 32 years old and reported to be healthy, had no contact with poultry. Instead, her only known exposure to the disease was visiting her mortally ill father in the hospital. The father made regular visits to a live poultry market.
Bettina Siegel, the operator of The Lunch Tray blog, is also an organizer of the petition to ban Chinese chicken. In 2012 she was successful in her campaign to have “pink slime” or lean, finely textured beef prohibited from the USDA School Lunch Program. Nancy Huehnergarth, the final Change.org petition organizer, is a National Food Policy consultant.
New signatures on the Chinese chicken ban are emailed to USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tim Vilsack, President Obama, and Representatives Sam Farr and Robert Aderholt, as well as Senators Mark Pryor and Roy Blunt.
You can sign the petition online at Change.org. It reads in part:
We urge Congress, President Obama, and his administration to stop chicken from, or processed in, China from reaching our supermarkets and the meals we feed our school children by:
(1) Ensuring that Chinese-processed chicken is not included in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program; and
(2) Preventing funds from being used to implement any rule that would allow poultry raised or slaughtered in China to be exported to the United States.