One may not think about it, but there is a lot of controversy that can be started from the conditions of food labels. The most recent one comes from Mississippi and surrounds China and chicken.
Currently the United States Department of Agriculture allows China to export poultry it processes within its borders as long as the birds were raised in the U.S., Canada or Chile. However, that meat is not required to be labeled as being processed in China, something state Rep. Tom Miles is trying to change.
“Simply put, I want to know where my chicken is processed, and I believe you do, too,” Miles told the Clarion Ledger. “I also want to protect our domestic chicken processing jobs and farms. Recent polls have shown that over 90 percent of people want to know where their food is being processed and coming from.”
This is where the controversy comes in. The Mississippi Poultry Association has come out against the legislation because the state brings in $5 billion per year through the chicken industry and ranks fifth in exporting chicken. China is the state’s fourth-largest buyer and there is he concern that stricter regulation would limit export capabilities.
Miles stated that he is thinking about both the safety concerns of food from China as well as the effect on the economy as more chicken is produced overseas and potentially takes jobs from U.S. farmers.
This goes to show how important a simple label on a product can be. Time will tell if location labels for chicken will become an industry standard.