Fish Caught in America, Processed in China Get The Boot | NW salmon sent to China before reaching U.S. tables

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More than half of the fish caught in Alaska are destined for processing plants before they are frozen and shipped to China. Then the fish are processed into fish sticks, salmon patties and other products in China, which will be re-frozen and exported back to the United States.

www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?monthyear=&day=11&id=98759&l=e&special=&ndb=1

NW salmon sent to China before reaching U.S. tables

Pacific salmon swim as far as 2,000 miles to lay their eggs in rivers up and down the Northwest. Once caught, some make a longer journey: 8,000 miles round-trip to China.

Facing growing imports of low-cost seafood, fish processors in the Northwest, including Seattle-based Trident Seafoods, are sending part of their catch of Alaskan salmon or Dungeness crab to China to be filleted or de-shelled before returning to U.S. tables.

“There are 36 pin bones in a salmon and the best way to remove them is by hand,” says Charles Bundrant, founder of Trident, which ships about 30 million pounds of its 1.2 billion-pound annual harvest to China for processing. “Something that would cost us $1 per pound labor here, they get it done for 20 cents in China.”

www.seattletimes.com/business/nw-salmon-sent-to-china-before-reaching-us-tables/

chickens raised in this country to be shipped to China for processing, shipped back to America, and then labeled as “grown in the USA.”

www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/03/chicken-from-china-your-seafood-is-already-being-processed-there/#.Va2p36T4_Dc

Thanks to our Change.org petition (307,000-plus signatures and rising), millions of Americans have learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is about to allow U.S chickens to be sent to China for processing and then shipped back to the U.S. for human consumption. This arrangement is particularly alarming given China’s appalling food safety record and the fact that there will be no on-site USDA inspectors in those plants. In addition, American consumers will never know that chicken processed in China is in foods like chicken soup or chicken nuggets because there’s no requirement to label it as such. One frequent refrain we’ve heard is that no U.S. company will ever ship chicken to China for processing because it doesn’t make economic sense. This was precisely the claim made by Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, in a recent Houston Chronicle article about our petition:

“Economically, it doesn’t make much sense,” Super said. “Think about it: A Chinese company would have to purchase frozen chicken in the United States, pay to ship it 7,000 miles, unload it, transport it to a processing plant, unpack it, cut it up, process/cook it, freeze it, repack it, transport it back to a port, then ship it another 7,000 miles. I don’t know how anyone could make a profit doing that.”

Well, guess what? It clearly does make economic sense because this process is already being used for U.S. seafood. According to the Seattle Times, domestically caught Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab are currently being processed in China and shipped back to the U.S., all because of significant cost savings:

“…  fish processors in the Northwest, including Seattle-based Trident Seafoods, are sending part of their catch of Alaskan salmon or Dungeness crab to China to be filleted or de-shelled before returning to U.S. tables.

“There are 36 pin bones in a salmon and the best way to remove them is by hand,” says Charles Bundrant, founder of Trident, which ships about 30 million pounds of its 1.2 billion-pound annual harvest to China for processing. “Something that would cost us $1 per pound labor here, they get it done for 20 cents in China.”

Considerably lower Chinese labor costs are what make the arrangement profitable, even when factoring in round-trip shipping costs over 14,000 miles. Here’s how it works:

The fish are de-headed and gutted on the ship in the Bering Sea, then frozen and sent to China, says Douglas Forsyth, Premier Pacific’s president. Once there, they are boned, skinned and cut into portions of 2 ounces to 6 ounces, he says …

Even factoring in 20 cents a pound in transportation costs, processing in China is still cheaper for the most labor-intensive fish, says Trident’s Bundrant.

 

See also  G-7 leaders call out China over human rights abuses
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h/t Cartel

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