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NewsBites March 2011 Issue

Nutrition Facts Coming for Meat

Where’s the beef? Or, rather, what’s in the beef? Answers to your questions about the nutritional content of meats will be easier to come by next year. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will require those familiar Nutrition Facts labels be placed on most meat packages or made available to consumers at the point of purchase as of Jan. 1, 2012. The new rule will affect 40 of the most com- monly purchased cuts of beef, pork, poultry and lamb. Although nutrition labels have been required on most food packages since 1993, labeling of meats remained voluntary. Agriculture Sec- retary Tom Vilsack commented, “It is appropriate for us to provide as much concrete information to consumers as we possibly can, without overwhelming them, so they can make good solid deci- sions about how many calories they’re consuming and how much activity they need.” A spokesman for the American Meat Institute, which did not oppose the changes, said consumers will fnd some “pleasant surprises” on the new labels, since many supermarket shop- pers aren’t aware of “the many lean choices in the meat case.”

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