You may never eat chicken again

China – it’s not just about killing your dog, and selling you dangerous drywall.  Now China will be processing chickens for consumption across the US. And under the new rules, your local grocery store, or your local McDonald’s, won’t have to disclose if their chicken has been processed in a country that has had chronic problems meeting basic quality standards on food in particular.

What, you might ask, could possibly go wrong?

Last year, Chinese chicken sickened or killed 1,000 American dogs

You might recall that China is the country that a few years back killed your dogs, a few different times actually, including last year when Chinese dog treats reported sickened and/or killed American 1,000 dogs.

Oh, and guess what was in the jerky treats that killed our dogs?  Chinese chicken.

Speaking of chicken, did you know that a few years back nearly 3 million Americans ate chickens that were fed poisonous Chinese pet food?

But the fun hardly stops there.  Consumers have been plagued with Chinese poisonous toothpaste, dangerous tires that leave out a special safety featuretainted baby milk, tainted pork, toxic rice, kidney-damaging cookies, cake and candies, bird-flu infected chicken, dying pigs, and toxic fish.

Mmm… toxic fish.

Well, now China will be processing US-produced chicken that will then be shipped back to the US market, and no one will bother letting you know which chicken you’re buying got processed first in beautiful China!

Perhaps my favorite Chinese quality-control disaster was the exploding watermelons (which brings back memories of the old exploding Soviet television sets).  I have to admit, an exploding watermelon could be kind of fun.

And now our chicken is going to be processed in China. What could possibly go wrong?

US chicken processing also in trouble

Oh, but if you’re not creeped out enough, there are now concerns about chicken processed in the US as well. From NPR:

And, chicken lovers, brace yourselves: There’s more. A report suggests chicken inspections here in the U.S. might be poised to take a turn for the worse. The Government Accountability Office said this week it has serious “questions about the validity” of the new procedures for inspecting poultry across the country.

Basically, these changes would replace many USDA inspectors on chicken processing lines with employees from the poultry companies themselves. The USDA has been piloting the new procedures, which will save money and significantly speed up processing lines, in 29 chicken plants. As The Washington Post reports, the plan is to roll out the new procedures eventually to “most of the country’s 239 chicken and 96 turkey plants.”

The problem? According to the GAO, the USDA did a poor job of evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot programs it has in place.

That’s one heck of a coincidence, all of these new chicken rules happening all at the same time, and all of them benefit Big Chicken at the seeming expense of the consumer.

PUNING, CHINA - MARCH 18: dirty chickens are fed at home garden, in Puning, Canton on March 18 2013. An H7N9 bird virus was first reported to have infected humans in 2013 in China. (Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com)

PUNING, CHINA – MARCH 18: dirty chickens are fed at home garden, in Puning, Canton on March 18 2013. An H7N9 bird virus was first reported to have infected humans in 2013 in China. (Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com)

So my basic takeaway is to stop eating chicken all together

Back to China for a moment, I routinely check my dog’s food and treats to make sure they’re not made in China.  And there is no way in hell I’m eating chicken processed in a country whose food I won’t even feed my dog.

And remember: They’re not going to identity the country of origin on the chicken, so you’re whole chicken, chicken nuggets, and even chicken soup and chicken bouillon could be processed in China, and no one is ever going to tell you.

One has to wonder if McDonald’s, and Safeway, and Costco, and Jewel, and Dominick’s, and Harris Teeter, and Walmart are going to be selling chicken surreptitiously processed in China.

Ask your local supermarket if they’re going to sell Chinese-processed chickens

Perhaps it’s time you asked them – here are their Twitter handles for starters. You’d be surprised how well Twitter works on issues like this.  Also, make sure the next time you to go the supermarket you ask if they’re going to be getting chicken processed in China, then tell them how you feel about it.

Costco (@CostcoTweets)
@Safeway
@HarrisTeeter
Jewel/Osco (@jewelosco)
Dominick’s: (@dominicks)
@Walmart
@Kroger
@WholeFoods


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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