USDA to require meat nutrition labels

Dec. 29, 2010 at 10:42 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Nutrition labels found on canned goods to breads also will be required on meats beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday.

The labels will be on 40 of the most commonly purchased cuts of beef, lamb, pork and poultry, the agency said in a release.

The "Nutrition Facts" panels will include the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat in a product. Also, any product listing a lean percentage statement, such as "76 percent lean," also will list its fat percentage, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean protein and fat in their purchase, the department said.

"More and more, busy American families want nutrition information that they can quickly and easily understand," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "We need to do all we can to provide nutrition labels that will help consumers make informed decisions."

Nutrition labels were required on many foods since 1993, but meat wasn't included except under a voluntary provision.

Publishing the rule in the Federal Register initiates the process of making the labels mandatory for meats. The labels either would have to be attached to meat packages or made available to consumers at the point of purchase, the department said.

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