At the Port of San Francisco, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seized and destroyed numerous illegal containers from China that contained rat meat.
After a thorough investigation, the FDA found that the plan for this meat was to be shipped to different meat processing plants across America, and then to be sold as chicken.
FDA warned that there might be another 300,000 lbs. of counterfeit rat meat in restaurants and grocery stores in the USA. According to Ronal Jones, an FDA inspector, it is not dangerous to consume rat meat if it is properly cooked, but he also added that USA law prohibits the import and sales of such meat.
Allen James, one of the FBI coordinators, claims that the sale of counterfeit meat as chicken wings is a big money business. He said that last year they seized large amounts of opossum meat, imported from Mexico. Mr. Allen added that many criminal organizations always look for different illegal ways to make money.
The FDA inspectors claim that there is no clear way how consumers can notice the difference between the legal and counterfeit meat. Jenny Brookside, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) spokesperson says that it is too late to confiscate some of the meat that is already on the market.
She also said that maybe the only way for consumers to determine whether the meat is chicken or rat is if the meat tastes slightly different than usual.According to an FDA study conducted in 2014, 36 million lbs. of illegal counterfeit meat is being sold in the United States each year.