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Deli Meat Petition to USDA

Consumer Reports, together with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), submitted a citizen petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging it to clarify the labeling of processed meats. CR’s tests show that nitrates and nitrites, which have been linked to cancer, are found in processed meats labeled “Uncured” or “No Nitrates or Nitrites Added” at similar levels to traditionally cured meats.   CR and CSPI are urging the USDA to stop requiring, and instead prohibit, the statements “Uncured” and “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” on meats processed using non-synthetic sources of nitrate and nitrite, such as celery powder or sea salt.  Instead, we’re calling on the agency to require a front-of-package declaration (“nitrates or nitrites added”) and clear ingredient labeling whenever nitrates or nitrites are used in meats, regardless of the source.