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USDA Calls for Clearer Meat Additive Labeling

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USDA Calls for Clearer Meat Additive Labeling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture aims to introduce more efficient labeling to better inform consumers of when meat products contain additives. Often, meat is plumped up with chicken broth, salt, water or even teriyaki sauce, according to The Associated Press.

Currently, meat labels refer to added ingredients as an enhancement. Furthermore, manufacturers don't always place the labels in visible locations or make them readily understandable.

"Who wants to pay $4.99 a pound for the added water and salt?" said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, on the organization's website. "Besides cheating customers financially, 'enhancing' meat and poultry delivers a stealth hit of sodium. Better labeling would help consumers concerned about high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease avoid products that contribute to those diseases."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest noted that 30 percent of poultry, 15 percent of beef and 90 percent of pork contain additives.

Recently, a Missouri-based butcher shop was called to court for using additives in its meat products. The shop had used soy as a filler, which could be potentially deadly for consumers with allergies.