Ag Committee Agrees over Chinese Poultry Imports

US - Agreement has been reached in principle for poultry meat to be imported from China, providing certain conditions are met.
calendar icon 30 September 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Conferees on the agriculture appropriations bill – led by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn), chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, have agreed to language for the FY 2010 agriculture appropriations conference report regarding the use of appropriated funds by USDA with respect to potential imports of poultry products from China.

The conference agreement would allow USDA to use appropriated funds in FY 2010 to promulgate or implement a rule allowing imports of processed poultry or poultry products from China provided the Secretary of Agriculture notifies Congress that certain conditions have been met.

The action was applauded by Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and United States Trade Representative, Ron Kirk. USDA worked with Representative DeLauro to craft the final language, which ensures the protection of the nation's food supply in a manner consistent with scientific principles as required under U.S. international obligations. This result reflects the hard work and commitment of the Administration, Representative De Lauro, Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark), and all House and Senate conferees.

Under US law, poultry and poultry products may not be imported from any foreign country unless USDA determines that the food safety standards, facilities and conditions of that country achieve a level of sanitary protection equivalent to that achieved by US standards. If USDA determines that a country achieves this level of protection for some or all poultry products, it issues a rule permitting import of such products, subject to border inspection and other requirements.

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