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Meat Institute Submits Comments on Establishment-Specific Data Release Plan

Monday, April 20, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Meat Institute submitted comments on the proposed Establishment-Specific Data Release Plan , urging USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to abandon, or at a minimum reconsider, the plan. The comments note that the potential benefits of posting certain establishment-specific data will not aid the consumer in making more informed choices, as suggested by the proposed plan. The comments also stress that the costs and burdens associated with posting establishment-specific data are greater and more severe than presented in the plan. The Meat Institute noted that FSIS testing programs are complex and that the test results, when viewed without proper context, could easily lead to consumer confusion. The comments underscore FSIS' responsibility in protecting confidential and commercially sensitive information to ensure industry and corporate proprietary data and security. The Meat Institute offered alternatives to the proposed plan, should FSIS proceed with posting establishment-specific data, including recommending that data be aggregated by district and not list individual establishment numbers to avoid harm caused by potential misinterpretation or misuse of data.

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