Consumer Groups File Petition Urging the USDA to Change Meat Labeling Requirements

For years, natural sources of nitrates and nitrites have been used to cure meats as an alternative to traditional synthetic sources. The United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") requires companies that cure meats using these natural ingredients to label a product as "uncured" with "no nitrates or nitrites" and to include a disclaimer that identifies the natural source of nitrates and nitrites. A petition by two consumer groups now claims that these products have about the same amount of residual nitrates and nitrites as those that use synthetic sources and urges the USDA to change its labeling regulations to avoid consumer confusion.

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