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AMI BOARD VOTES TO URGE USDA TO APPROVE IRRADIATED PRODUCT FOR SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

Thursday, October 24, 2002
 

New Orleans, LA, October 24, 2002—The American Meat Institute (AMI) Board of Directors today voted to urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to (USDA) establish a pilot program for purchasing irradiated ground beef in the School Lunch commodity beef purchasing program. The Board made its decision during the Annual Business Meeting held at AMI’s Annual Convention and Innovation Showcase in New Orleans, LA.

As a result of the decision, AMI will follow up with a letter to USDA urging this action.

“Groups like the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization have long endorsed irradiation for meat products and the technology is used in nearly 40 countries around the world. Irradiation provides an extra margin of safety along with the many technologies already in use by the industry,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.

“It’s time for USDA to acknowledge the food safety benefits of this technology and begin purchasing irradiated ground beef products for the nation’s school children.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of irradiation for use on single ingredient raw products in 1999. USDA issued a rule permitting it use in February 2000.

Many restaurants and meat companies are offering irradiated products to consumers. IN AMI’s view, these same products should be provided through the school lunch program.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members
produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey
products in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. Its affiliate, the AMI Foundation, is a separate 501(c)3 organization that conducts research, education and information projects for the industry.


For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
703-841-3635
jriley@meatinstitute.org
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs
703-841-3641
jdaoust@meatinstitute.org

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