Leader of the free world? Not when it comes to food production…
Both Russia and China – not the most progressive countries when it comes to environmental and social service issues – have imposed bans on American poultry and pork.
As recently as March, 2009, Russian inspectors uncovered antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs from three U.S.-based plants including Sanderson Farms in Hammond, La., a Peco foods facility in Canton, Miss., and a Tyson Foods plant in Cumming Ga.
Sadly, this isn’t new news. A rep from the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences explained that the reason Russia imposed a ban on all poultry from the U.S. back in March, 2002, was because U.S. poultry producers use such large doses of these drugs that they accumulate in the tissues of the birds. "It is dangerous," he said, "especially for children and older people."
And just this month, China has banned imports of meat from two U.S. poultry plants and three U.S. pork plants. Although a specific reason wasn’t given, we can assume safety is at the core.
That’s why it’s so important for the Senate to reject HR 2749 - the Food Safety Enhancement Act - when they consider it upon their return from summer recess. The bill simply doesn’t do enough to get huge agribusiness to provide safe food for the public at large.
Clearly, Russia and China would agree that we have a ways to go in the realm of food regulation.
HR 2749 also makes smaller producers subject to the same regulations as huge, industrial firms…a one-size-fits-all approach that simply doesn’t make sense.
What do you think about Russia and China banning poultry and pork from the U.S.? How does it make you feel? Let us know – we love hearing from you!