Congress Tells USDA to Change Misleading Labeling Laws

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a strongly worded letter to Chuck Connor, the acting-Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In the letter, dated Thursday, October 11th, these forty Members of Congress – representing nine states – expressed their serious concerns over a severely flawed USDA policy that allows for the mislabeling of fresh poultry.
calendar icon 17 October 2007
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Specifically, the letter addresses the misguided USDA policy that "allows for poultry injected with saltwater or seaweed solutions to be prominently labeled as ’100 percent All Natural’...leading consumers to believe that they are purchasing unaltered, natural poultry products" It also brings attention to the health implications of the practice of mislabeling fresh chicken. A truly natural serving of chicken contains roughly 70 mg of sodium, while an enhanced serving can contain up to 370mg per serving.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) and Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering (R-MS) led the bipartisan congressional effort. The letter’s signatories included Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Signatories also included two members of the U.S. Senate (Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

By urging immediate reform of the USDA’s poultry labeling rules, the TLC is hoping to prevent fresh chicken that is pumped-up or injected with sodium, water, carageenan (a seaweed extract), and other additives, from being labeled as "Natural

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