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Tags: US poultry | China | ban | bird flu

USDA Seeks to End China's Ban on US Poultry

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:14 PM

Shortly after Minnesota announced it would declare a state of emergency, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requested that China end a ban on imports of U.S. poultry that was imposed after an outbreak of bird flu infected more 7.3 million birds.

"[Why] would you say 'you can't buy poultry from Virginia or North Carolina?'" asked Vilsack, noting that most states have not reported outbreaks of the flu, reported Reuters.

Just days later, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad announced his state would follow the lead of Minnesota and Wisconsin in issuing a state of emergency after four new cases of bird flu were detected.

"Not in the years that I've been in state government have we had a disaster situation affecting, in this case, our poultry, like this. This is a magnitude much greater than anything we've dealt with in recent, modern times," said Branstad, according to Agri-Pulse.

China is one of several countries, including Mexico, Japan and Canada, to refuse poultry products from entire states.

Chinese officials said they would consider lifting the ban, but indicated they would do so only if the U.S. ban on the import of chicken meat that is raised and processed in China was part of the discussion.

"I think it's different," said Vilsack, arguing that the ban on poultry processed in China was a food-safety measure while China's ban was an animal-welfare issue, according to The Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN).

In 2013, the U.S. lifted a ban on poultry products processed in China, but the safety of Chinese poultry processing remains a concern to many lawmakers.

Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro recently introduced a bill to ban Chinese-processed American chickens from being included in school lunches.

"I introduced this bipartisan legislation to prevent Chinese meat and chicken from being used in federal nutrition programs given China's atrocious history of poorly-enforced food safety laws. It is a moral imperative to ensure the food we serve America's children is safe. There is no better place to start than in their schools," said DeLauro in a press release announcing the bill.

The recent bill, which is co-sponsored by Republican Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, would make the ban permanent.

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US
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requested China to end a ban on imports of U.S. poultry that was imposed after an outbreak of bird flu infected more 7.3 million birds.
US poultry, China, ban, bird flu
362
2015-14-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:14 PM
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