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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will delay for two months, until March 1, 2012, enforcement of new meat labeling rules that will provide nutritional profile information on single-ingredient meat products.

The reason, USDA said, was that a coalition of organizations said that more time was needed to make sure that labels were both accurate and user-friendly. Included in the coalition are the American Lamb Board; the American Meat Institute; the Food Marketing Institute; the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; the National Chicken Council; the National Grocers Association; the National Pork Board; the National Pork Producers Council; and the National Turkey Federation.

The coalition released the following statement after the delay was announced:

“The mandatory nutrition labeling rule will have a significant impact on the regulated entities, and we commend FSIS for recognizing the challenges we face and for extending the effective date. When FSIS announced this final rule last December, we began working to understand the new requirements to ensure implementation. Over the past 11 months, we have worked with FSIS to fully understand the rule’s requirements, but we still have questions that need to be answered before a smooth implementation can occur.”
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