Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Congressmen join 'natural' debate

By Alicia Karapetian on 5/29/2007 for Meatingplace.com

Two congressmen are calling on USDA to reform its labeling requirements for "all natural" chicken products.

In a letter to USDA, Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) and Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), who is also chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic agriculture, requested that USDA prohibit the "natural" label on any fresh chicken that has been pumped and also that "solution statements" be more prominently displayed so consumers can more readily see injected ingredients.

"Consumers are being cheated in their wallets and their health," Pickering said in a news conference. "They are buying chicken by weight that has been injected with 15 percent sodium water. And they are buying chicken as a health-conscious decision, but getting 800 percent more sodium per serving than truly natural chicken."

Several poultry processors also recently announced a coalition aimed to get USDA to tighten the use of the word "natural" in poultry. (See Smaller poultry processors unite in 'natural' debate on Meatingplace.com, May 18, 2007.)

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