Processed chicken joined the long list of products OK-ed for import to the United States from China. However, health standards in Chinese food processing plants raise concerns.
Four Chinese poultry processors received approval from the Department of Agriculture to export processed chicken meat to the U.S., reported the New York Times. The chicken meat must originate in the U.S. However, after being ground, shredded, cooked, heat-treated and pumped full of preservatives, the meat will return to the United States without any labeling to let consumers know where the chicken was processed.
NEWS: Where Does Your Chicken Come From?
Considering the mountain of health threats the Chinese people themselves face from lax food safety regulation and enforcement, American consumers may be reticent to chomp on a chicken nugget processed in China.
For example in 2008, six infants died from tainted baby formula and 54,000 were hospitalized. The Chinese now smuggle formula manufactured in other nations, reported the L.A. Times. In just the past year, Chinese consumers have been fed rat meat passed off as mutton, pesticide-laced ginger, cadmium-tainted rice and copper-sulfate contaminated preserved duck eggs, according to the New York Times.