Friday, October 16, 2015

Chicken agency gives DNA policing technique to feds

The Chicken Farmers of Canada national supply-management agency has offered a DNA test it purchased to the federal government to distinguish spent fowl from chicken imports.

The agency has complained for years that importers are violating the rules by either mixing the two types of chicken or outright cheating.

Chicken imports face tariffs of more than 250 per cent. There are no tariffs on spent fowl – i.e. retired egg-laying hens.

The tariffs are intended to protect supply management so it can achieve prices high enough to cover production costs, plus a reasonable profit for farmers.

However, in recent years, imports of spent fowl from the United States have sometimes exceeded total spent fowl numbers in the U.S.

Here’s a federal government chart showing what has been happening:

The federal government has promised, as part of its response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, to crack down on chicken imports.

It did not mention the distinction between spent fowl and broiler chickens, but did mention blends of chicken and sauce designed to escape tariffs.