US: Senate adds chicken to COOL farm bill provision

19-12-2007 | | |

Although almost all chicken consumed in the United States is grown locally, the Senate added chicken to its version of the country-of-origin labelling provision in the 2007 farm bill.

“Chicken meat will be treated no differently than other cuts of meat under the law now,” said Kate Cyrul, Majority Communications Director for the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“The legislative language says “whole chicken, or in part,” Cyrul added. The farm bill was passed on Friday.

Imported chicken to United States
“It’s getting to the point where there will be some poultry imported,” said Richard Lobb of The National Chicken Council, noting the newly signed free trade agreement, which allows Chile to export chicken to the United States.

“And there are a number of other countries in the queue that will sooner or later get authorisation,” he said.
Labelling chicken
Currently, about 99.9% of all chicken consumed in the United States is produced domestically. However, with red meat COOL labelling on the horizon, Lobb noted that consumers may begin to wonder where the chicken they purchased came from.
There are no specifications on what type of chicken may be imported, but Lobb speculates frozen breast filets for further processed products might be a possibility.
The farm bill is to go to a House and Senate conference committee, where the two versions of the bill must be reconciled.

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