Chicken Nuggets: Made in China?

It could soon be impossible to know whether processed chicken came from a Chinese plant.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is ending an import ban on processed chicken from China, NPR says. Because it’s processed, it won’t require a country-of-origin label.

At least initially, you can rest assured that the chicken itself was raised in Canada or the U.S., The New York Times says. And only four Chinese plants will be allowed to ship processed poultry here, which should make it easy for U.S. inspectors.

Except there won’t be any American inspectors. “Under the new rules, the Chinese facilities will verify that cooked products exported to the United States came from American or Canadian birds,” the Times says.

That wouldn’t be so worrisome if China had a better food safety record. “This year alone, thousands of dead pigs turned up in the waters of Shanghai, rat meat was passed off as mutton and — perhaps most disconcerting for U.S. consumers — there was an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu virus among live fowl in fresh meat markets,” NPR says.

There may be cause for concern about the chicken here, too. The USDA is testing new inspection procedures that speed up processing lines and replace many inspectors with employees from the chicken companies, The Washington Post says. A Government Accountability Office report criticized the move, saying it was based partially on research that is 10 to 20 years old.

If the USDA relaxes the rules even further, it’s possible chicken could be just another American buy that’s made in China. What do you think of the changes? Would you knowingly buy chicken processed or raised in China? Let us know on Facebook.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,148 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • ModernMode

    We all know where this is going. Sooner or later, there will be a lot of dead children from poisoning. Just like poisoned baby milk and pet food.

  • MaryKay Gilbert

    Simple answer~just eat locally grown, organic, free-range chicken~well maybe not so simple for people in cities…

  • fennecfox2

    That’s the end of chicken nuggets in this house.