The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has submitted comments to USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) on a proposal to amend labeling requirements of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act.
The amendment, titled the “Common or Usual Name for Raw Meat and Poultry Products Containing Added Solutions,” proposes increasing font sizes so that all ingredients in an enhanced product are the same size. Enhanced products, also known as deep marinated products, are tenderized products, often with a saline solution.
If enacted, the amendment will lead to consumer confusion, interfere with consumers’ ability to see and evaluate the product's nutritient value, give an unfair market advantage to products that are not enhanced. The measure generally add costs without leading to a demonstrable improvement in the information provided to consumers, NPPC sain in its comments.
The change in font size will cost the U.S. pork industry more than $80 million, according to USDA estimates. NPPC strongly opposes the amendment and is urging USDA to reconsider the proposal.
Meanwhile, new nutrient data sets provided by USDA scientists for pork and beef products are available for retailers. This is a major update on nutrient data. Federal rules had required specific meat and poultry products to carry new nutrition information as of Jan. 1, but the date has been extended to March 1, giving retailers more time for implementation. This action impacts more than 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry, FSIS says.
The data sets are provided by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL). They provide retailers with the most accurate data for beef and pork for on-pack and butcher-counter nutrition labeling.