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DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

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