Senator calls overseas safety regulations into question - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Senator calls overseas safety regulations into question

Senator calls overseas safety regulations into question

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJRT) - (06/17/14) – It is unwelcome news for pet owners: The Food and Drug Administration said more than 1,000 dogs died after eating pet treats from China. And, the Chinese jerky treats are linked to illnesses in thousands more.

On Tuesday afternoon, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) chaired a Congressional hearing on tainted pet treats and processed chicken from China.

He questioned the effectiveness of China’s food safety regulations, and grilled witnesses about the topic. Those witnesses, though, from the Department of Agriculture and the FDA could not give a straight answer.

The officials admitted they did not know with 100 percent certainty where some of the ingredients in products with a “Made in the USA” label actually come from.

And, the witnesses said they are still having trouble securing Chinese visas for FDA workers charged with making sure the plants we rely on for our food and pet products are safe.

“I'm still a bit perplexed that so many US drug makers, and so many US food processors, and so many US pet companies outsource their production when this is all about human health,” Brown said. “They should know better.”

Lawmakers are concerned about new rules that could allow chickens raised in the United States to be shipped to China for processing before being returned to and sold in the U.S.

That is another reason Brown said U.S. companies using cheaper Chinese labor might soon be paying a big price.

“They're going to get a lot more law suits because they haven't done their job in managing the supply chain,” Brown said. “If they're gonna go overseas and make their pet treats, they better know all the ingredients, where they came from, what villages they came from, how they were made, under what conditions they were made. I don't think those U.S. companies have done that, and that's why they should move their production back home.”

But that is not likely. So, Brown said he will continue to ask questions about whether or not food products imported from China are safe.
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