We’ve had a big food safety win!
I’m happy to announce that the Change.org petition I co-sponsored with fellow advocate Bettina Siegel titled, “Keep Chinese Chicken Out of Our Schools and Supermarkets,” has been victorious. The federal Omnibus spending bill that President Obama just signed into law contains language that bans Chinese-processed poultry products in school meals and other child nutrition programs, due to our serious concerns about China’s food safety record. Nearly 330,000 people signed our petition, which was posted in January.
I’d like to personally thank Bettina Siegel (read her announcement of victory), Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME), as well as the wonderful teams of advocates at Food and Water Watch and the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention. Everyone worked hard to ensure that the language banning Chinese-processed chicken in school meals and other programs, introduced by DeLauro and co-sponsored by Pingree, made it into the final Omnibus bill.
For the policy wonks reading this, here is the language that was included in the Omnibus:
SEC. 736. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to procure processed poultry products imported into the United States from the People’s Republic of China for use in the school lunch program under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.), the Child and Adult Food Care Program under section 17 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1766), the Summer Food Service Program for Children under section 13 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1761), or the school breakfast program under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (4223 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.)
Since poultry raised and slaughtered in China cannot be imported into the U.S., at this time, the second portion of our petition ask is not a current concern. We will reach out to those who have signed our petition in the event that USDA moves to approve the import of Chinese-raised and slaughtered poultry in the future.
Thank you so much to those who signed our Change.org petition! Your voices were heard by Congress. And our children are now safer because of your advocacy!