Following comments from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in regards to Chinese poultry products being imported into the United States, the FSIS has released the following statement:

“USDA has not found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent and therefore poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed to be imported to the United States. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, and the Food Safety Inspection Service is dedicated to maintaining that status.”

In December 2010, China requested FSIS to evaluate its poultry slaughter system and FSIS was legally obligated to move forward with an audit.  FSIS has not released the results of this audit as it has not been finalized. If the audit reveals food safety issues with China's poultry slaughter system, then China will be required to take corrective actions and then be audited again in order for the process to continue.

Schumer said that the USDA was taking steps away from guaranteeing American consumers a safe food supply by allowing Chinese chickens to be sold in the United States. He cited China’s poor food safety track record, reports the New York Daily News.

“(This) has nothing to do with health or safety, but it has to do with diplomacy,” he said. “Enough is enough.”

Source: FSIS, New York Daily News