Nutrition, Health and Diet


Nutrition, Health and Diet

June 16, 1997

CSPI needs your help in our campaign to provide consumers with better nutritional labeling on ground beef. We need letters urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to require ground beef labels to meet the same regulations as other foods sold in supermarkets.

Approximately 400,000 Americans a year die prematurely as a result of an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Fat and artery-clogging saturated fat are two of the main culprits. Ground beef adds more fat to the average American's diet than any other single food. Yet in many supermarkets, ground beef labels make health and nutrition claims that wouldn't be allowed on most other foods. For example:

A food as fatty as ground beef should not be exempt from our labeling rules or be allowed to make "lean" claims. Until the USDA gets rid of its double standard, consumers will get the false impression about the healthfulness of the largest source of fat in the average American's diet.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Write the USDA today and urge it to close the ground beef labeling loophole. CSPI is urging the USDA to ban deceptive "percent lean" claims, require ground beef to meet the same definition of "lean" as other foods, and require ground beef that makes fat or lean claims to carry complete "Nutrition Facts" labels.

Attached is a fact sheet that includes some key points to make in your letter. The USDA may make a decision on ground beef labeling sometime this summer, so write your letter today. Send it to:

Secretary Dan Glickman
United States Department of Agriculture
14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250

Thanks for your interest and help with this important nutrition issue. You can find more information on ground beef labeling in the June issue of the Nutrition Action Healthletter or you can also give us a call at 202/332-9110, ext. 331.

Sincerely,

Margo Wootan
Senior Scientist