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Tell The Senate: Stop the Import of Poultry from China

This week, the Senate Appropriations committee will work on the 2007 budget for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are starting with the budget bill that already passed the House earlier this spring. The bill contains a key provision that prohibits the USDA from allowing the import of poultry products processed in the People's Republic of China.

Please call 202-224-3121 or email your Senators today on this committee to urge them to keep this provision of the House bill that would stop USDA from allowing the import of processed poultry from China.


- USDA Has a Poor Track Record in Foreign Meat Plants ­

Year after year, auditors find problems in the USDA's system for certifying that meat being imported into the U.S. is up to U.S. standards. In 2004, the USDA reviewed plants in China and found serious food safety problems in a number of the plants that would now be eligible to ship processed poultry to the U.S.

- Consumers Won't Know What They're Eating ­

Without country of origin labeling, consumers have no way to know where the poultry products they buy were processed.

- Politics Played a Role ­

The USDA originally estimated that this rule would be finished in spring 2007. Instead it was finalized and announced last month, during a visit by the Chinese president to the U.S. The rule gives new access to the American market for Chinese firms, just as American meat companies are working to gain access to the Chinese market.

- The Rule Could Hurt Domestic Producers ­

The rule only allows imports from meat plants that process birds grown in other countries (because of the threat of avian flu.) But this could be just the beginning, and eventually lead to the import of poultry raised in China. This could lead to an influx of cheap imported poultry that could overwhelm domestic producers.

Tell your Senators today!


Audrey Hill