Bravo to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree of Maine, an early and vocal supporter of my effort to get lean, finely textured beef, commonly referred to as “pink slime” out of school food. After sending a letter to USDA in support of my petition, Representative Pingree also circulated a sign-on letter in Congress, garnering the support of 41 other representatives.
Today Representative Pingree went a step further and introduced a bill in Congress – the Requiring Easy and Accurate Labeling of Beef Act (REAL Beef Act) — which would require that beef containing LFTB be labeled to disclose that fact to the end purchaser. The bill was introduced with ten co-sponsors, including Representatives Van Hollen, McCollum, Kucinich, Lee, Holmes-Norton, Holt, Ryan, Schiff, Lewis and Schakowsky.
As I have written here in the past, Beef Products Inc. has every right to sell its LFTB so long as it does so in a safe manner. But our free market economy rests on informed consumer choice, choice which was denied us when USDA decided that LFTB — up to 15% of the total product — need not be labeled on ground beef packages.
If BPI is so confident in the safety and quality of its product, it should have absolutely no objection to completely transparent labeling. Any lobbying efforts by BPI (or the beef industry) against its passage are a tacit admission that this product simply can’t withstand the bright light of consumer scrutiny. That should be troubling to us all.
Please urge your own Congressional representatives to support the REAL Beef Act.
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