Labels will be appearing on both meat and pork products by 2012. These labels will be filled with nutritional information such as total fat content, calories, saturated fat content, protein and cholesterol information. Currently, meat does not have this information. Most other products do. Food labels appear on milk, cereal, salad dressing, boxed sides, chips, soda, and all kinds of other products. But there are no labels on hamburger meat, steaks, pork chops, pork loins, and any other kinds of meats that you can get from the meat department of the grocery store.
The USDA has said for years that the meat industry is was not required to place labels on their products but strongly encouraged the use of nutritional labels. Due to cost the providers of meat products have refrained from adding labels to their products. That will all change in 2012 when 40 of the most common cuts of meat will be required to have labels. These cuts will include everything from hamburger meat to pork chops.
However, some business will be exempt from needing a label. According to Food Safety News, business which produce less than 100,000 lbs of meat or poultry annually within a single facility will not be required to be labeled. The notice in the Federal Register regarding food labeling said,“FSIS believes an exemption for ground or chopped products produced by small businesses is necessary because the burden of mandatory nutrition labeling may force some small firms to stop producing the product because of the cost of nutrition labeling and eventually force some small firms out of business.”
The USDA and the FDA have been under fire over nutritional labels and food items that are currently not labeled. The latest products that are currently on the table for the USDA and FDA to decide on labeling is genetically modified salmon or what has been dubbed as the frankenfish. Since there are currently no labeling requirements for fish, meat or poulty, the company who created the frankenfish had no reason to label it if it came to market. So far the fish has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
It is possible that with the new label requirements for meat and poultry products in 2012 that we will see more nutritional labels on products that normally would not have them. Products like vegetables and fruits may be required to follow suit. Especially with the emergence of genetically modified foods. It would not be shocking for consumers to want to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies by requesting labeling on foods that have been processed, modified or engineered.