Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on the USDA to make it tougher on chickens that are processed in China and will be sold in the United States. The USDA recently approved the sale of chickens raised in the United States but are processed in China for sale back in the U.S.

Schumer said tougher enforcement of health standards are needed to protect consumers, reports the Associated Press.

Schumer said that while the plants and processing methods have been deemed initially safe by the USDA, lax enforcement going forward could expose U.S. consumers to serious risk of food borne illness, especially given the appallingly poor food-safety track record of Chinese food products, reports the Staten Island Advance.

Schumer said the U.S. must take two immediate steps: (1) increase the number of on-the-ground audits and inspections of the Chinese inspection system and all Chinese facilities where meat is processed and (2) increased inspection of chicken meat shipped back to the United States with the highest level of scrutiny and frequency, to ensure meat is safe for consumption and originated in the United States.

Schumer cites cases of contaminated milk and meat coming from China as reason for stepped-up enforcement.

Source: AP, Staten Island Advance