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Canada Rethinks Ban On Chinese Poultry

by 5m Editor
31 August 2007, at 10:58am

CANADA - China, the nation that has been battling scandals over contaminated exports ranging from pet food to toys, wants to export chicken that was raised, processed and cooked in China, to Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has begun studying a Chinese request to re-examine Canada's blanket ban on poultry from China. The agency is inspecting slaughterhouses, processing plants and laboratories to monitor antibiotic, pesticide and metal residues in the meat. China is also looking to open a market for cooked chicken products in the U.S.

As it stands, Canada does not allow imports of any poultry from China.

Fresh poultry is banned because of concerns about avian flu and Newcastle disease -- the first because it can affect humans, and the latter because it could affect Canada's chickens.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, however, has begun studying a Chinese request to re-examine the blanket ban, but any changes would likely be limited to cooked and canned poultry clearly marked as a product of China, said Bill Anderson, the director of the agency's meat program.

The agency has completed a review of documents, and is inspecting Chinese slaughterhouses, processing plants and laboratories used to monitor antibiotic, pesticide and metal residues in the meat.

"We have had some initial visits. There are still some questions we need to answer," said Mr. Anderson.

The initial inspections would be followed up by periodic audits of production facilities.

There are no on-farm visits involved in the process, he said. It will likely be several months before the food inspection agency completes its review.

The news comes as consumers grow increasingly wary of products from China, and as Chinese officials are looking to open a market for cooked chicken products in the U.S., which has sparked outcry from groups ranging from elected officials to the United Poultry Growers Association.

Source: OttawaCitizen.com

5m Editor