WASHINGTON — Following statements by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., regarding chicken imports from China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a statement clarifying the current status of such imports.
“USDA has not found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent and therefore poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed to be imported to the United States. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, and the Food Safety Inspection Service is dedicated to maintaining that status," FSIS said in the statement.
Speaking outside an Associated Food store in New York, Schumer said the USDA is planning to allow imports of chicken raised and processed in China “within a year,” according to a video from the New York Daily News.
“China has a terrible record when it comes to food safety, and because of cutbacks our U.S. Department of Agriculture does not do the inspections that are needed and necessary,” said Schumer.
He listed recent examples of food safety issues resulting from Chinese imports, including arsenic in rice, glass chips mixed with pumpkin seeds and melamine in milk.
Schumer urged the USDA to reconsider proposed rules regarding Chinese chicken imports.
In its statement, FSIS said it is in the process of auditing China’s poultry slaughter system but has not yet finalized the results of the audit. If the country’s poultry slaughter system is found to have food safety problems, China must correct those issues and FSIS will re-audit the system, the agency said.
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