Georgia poultry producers are applauding a just signed agriculture bill that allows China to import cooked chicken into the United States. Two years ago Congress blocked funding for United States Department of Agriculture poultry inspections in China amid fears of avian flu spreading through chicken products, even though scientists said such transmission were not possible. The agriculture appropriations bill restores that funding.
In recent months China filed a lawsuit and threatened to limit chicken imported from the United States. Poultry producers here feared such retaliation from China if their product could not be imported to the United States. Such a move would likely have a negative impact on Georgia's 15-billion dollar poultry industry. Georgia exports up to 25-percent of its chicken outside the U.S. It is the state's number one crop.