Even though most Americans realize we're in a global economy, there are a few choice areas that most of us insist should be homegrown as much as possible. An increasing number of Americans prefer not to depend on places like Saudi Arabia for their oil, and probably even more of them don't want to eat food that was processed in and imported from China.
But unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently decided that China's quality and safety standards for processing chicken are suddenly so acceptable that they've given the green light to four Chinese processing plants to import raised and slaughtered U.S. poultry, process it, and then export it back to America for you to consume. What's worse, you won't even know that your chicken came from China after going halfway around the world twice since no country-or origin labeling is required!
Fortunately, there is something we can do to put a stop to this fatally-flawed thinking - but only if we act now - and that is to sign the "No Chinese Chicken" petition on the WhiteHouse.gov website. If we can collect 100,000 signatures over a 30-day period, the administration will personally review and consider the petition.
If we are not successful in collecting the 100,000 signatures in 30 days, this is what will happen. China will be free to process and export chicken to the United States:
1. With no on-site monitoring in China to ensure acceptable quality and safety standards.
2. Without a mandate to label Chinese-processed chicken as a "Product of China."
3. With no guarantee that China will not include its own homegrown chicken with any shipment.
4. With no commitment to lift its decade-long ban on importing U.S. beef.
5. With no guarantee this USDA concession will be used as a stepping stone for China to gain approval to export Chinese-raised and -slaughtered chicken to America in the future.
The USDA has not said exactly when the U.S. will actually start importing chicken from China. But if we can collect the required number of petition signatures in one month's time, that day may never come. That is the goal. Let's ban Chinese-processed chicken from the American market just like they have banned our American beef from theirs!
Patriotic American consumers who value the safety of the food they consumer should not resign themselves to be kept in the dark about where their chicken comes from. It is increasingly clear that many Americans do not consider China as equivalent to the United States when it comes to health and safety standards, and for good reason.
On April 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) detailed how avian influenza A (H7N9), which is a type of flu usually seen in birds that has never before been found in humans, had infected a number of the Chinese people. Symptoms of avian influenza A include fever, cough, severe respiratory illness, and even death.
In September of this year, Chinese police seized over 20,000 Kg of fake Chinese beef from a northwest Chinese factory. Can we really be certain, if the USDA permission is allowed to stand, that what is supposed to be Chinese-processed chicken won't be fake food as well?
The American people are not willing to compromise their health, and in some cases, put their own lives in jeopardy so that a few questionable-at-best Chinese factories can force their food upon an unsuspecting American public.
Are we so na?ve to engage in an apparent game of "Do you like us yet?" with China, showering them with concessions, with no guarantee of a change in their antagonistic behavior towards the United States in return? This current concession comes on the heels of American acceptance for China to buy the world's largest pork processor, Smithfield Foods, in a deal that closed in September. That $7.1 billion acquisition of an existing U.S. company resulted in the largest-ever American purchase by a Chinese-owned firm.
Is the current permission granted to China to export processed poultry to the United States a reaction and realization of their new-found lobbying influence over the U.S. food industry? One can only wonder and suppose.
In the midst of all these problematic circumstances, however, one thing is clear: We have one chance to act before the actual importation of Chinese-processed chicken begins, and the time to act is right now!
Let's put a stop to this blatantly unsafe and unnecessary concession and let it be known that we don't want any chicken from China coming to America! Sign the White House petition on the WhiteHouse.gov website, and alert every like-minded concerned citizen that you know, encouraging them to do the same.
The petition was posted on October 21 and the 30-day clock is ticking. The question is, are you ticked-off enough to act and sign this all-important petition? We have until exactly November 20 to collect the necessary 100,000 signatures. Sign the "No Chinese Chicken" White House petition today and stand up for American jobs, American safety, and American standards!