NATIONAL MEAT ASSOCIATION h 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186 h Email Address: [email protected] h

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

August 4, 2003




NMA’s 2003 Summer Conference, to be held this year at Lake Geneva, WI, is fast approaching. There’s still time to make travel plans, and to have the pleasure of doing important meat business in a wonderful resort location. 


Centerpiece of the Conference is the traditional Industry meeting on Friday morning for two hours.  This year, it will be a tightly controlled, cutting edge information session, with each of eight speakers delivering the information in short order.  Dr. Russell Cross will moderate, and the subjects and speakers are:


Export Market and Mandatory Price Reporting                                       Barry Carpenter, Deputy Director, Livestock & Seed Division, AMS/USDA

Managing Pathogens to Achieve Non-Detectable Levels in Ground Beef Tim Biela, Texas American Foodservice, Fort Worth, TX

A New Pathogen Intervention, Activated Lactoferrin                                              David Hall, aLF Ventures, Salt Lake City, UT

Regulatory Enforcement to Support FSIS’s Public Health Mission            William Smith, Assistant Administrator, OFO/FSIS/USDA

Alliances and Partnerships for Tomorrow                                                                Wythe Willey, Esquire

21st Century Workplace                                                                           Richard Alaniz, Alaniz & Schraeder

Benefits of Animal ID                                                                              Dr. Bill Mies, Texas A&M University

Hot Wires for Food Safety                                                                       Dr. Kerri Harris, Executive Director, International HACCP Alliance


Friday’s luncheon speaker is Dr. Elsa Murano, Under Secretary for Food Safety, and she will be available for questions.


NMA’s Committees meet beginning Friday morning through Saturday, culminating in the Board meeting at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.  All members are invited to attend the Board meeting.  Speakers, in addition to those in the Industry session who will be participating in Committee meetings include:  Dr. Gary Smith, Professor, Colorado State University; Phil Olsson, Esquire, Olsson, Frank & Weeda; Bob Savage, HACCP Consulting Group; and Dr. Nick Nickelson, Standard Meat Company.


NMA, in conjunction with the HACCP Consulting Group and FoodSafe Systems, is pleased to provide two special “extra” sessions for members attending its Summer Conference this year. The HACCP Consulting Group is providing a daylong seminar on Wednesday, August 20. In the morning, there will be an in-depth review of how to comply with FSIS Directive 5000.1, Verifying an Establishment’s Food Safety System, and FSIS Directive 7310.5, Foreign Material Exclusion Compliance. In the afternoon, there will be an in-depth review of how to comply with Directive 10240.3, Listeria Regulation, and How to Respond to 30-Day Letters and NOIEs. Members may attend both the morning and afternoon sessions, but pre-registration is required for the sessions.


The second special “extra” session is by FoodSafe Systems, which is holding a 90-minute introductory session on Friday afternoon, August 22, at 3:15 p.m., immediately following the committee meetings.  FoodSafe Systems will present its software solutions management system that can assemble complex streams of food safety data into readily assimilated reports for management oversight, working with third-party data sources.  Regulatory HACCP holds senior managers accountable, and this system is a powerful tool that will enhance management confidence in food safety systems. Pre-registration is not required for the FoodSafe Systems session.


Swing off NMA’s 2003 Summer Conference with the golf tournament on Thursday, August 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., which will be held at “The Highlands,” located on the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa property.  Designed by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye, the course is cited by Golf Magazine as a “Scottish-themed layout, which rolls and tumbles along glacier-carved hills and valleys.” Create your foursome and take the challenge with your peers!


Other social events during the Summer Conference also offer fun and relaxation. The PAC Reception on Thursday, August 21, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. is a great opportunity to join industry leaders for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and help strengthen the legislative voice of NMA and its members. The following day is the fun-filled spouse tour from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which includes stops in downtown Lake Geneva, and Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay for a private tour. The Friday Night Dinner from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. is sure to be a standout for its fine cuisine and scintillating company. On Saturday, the conference culminates with a fantastic dinner cruise from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Grand Belle of Geneva offers comfort and elegance while dining on fine cuisine and sailing gorgeous Lake Geneva.


We look forward to seeing many of you at the Annual Summer Conference in Lake Geneva, WI, August 20-21, 2003 at the beautiful Grand Geneva Resort & Spa! Contact NMA at 510-763-1533 or [email protected] for more information and registration materials.


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An updated version of the Agricultural Research Service’s flagship nutrient database was launched last Wednesday by ARS, the USDA’s chief scientific research agency. The database is the major authoritative source of food composition in the US. 447 new entries have been added to the “USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16,” or SR16, this year for a total of 6,661 food items.


Each food item is shown with an information profile that provides data from among 125 possible food components, such as vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Information is derived from a variety of rigorously evaluated sources, including USDA-sponsored laboratory analyses, qualified food-industry data and available scientific literature. The release also includes new analytical data for many retail meat cuts trimmed to one-eighth inch of external fat, along with updated values for many cuts trimmed of all external fat.


SR16 is available in a variety of formats, including a downloadable version with a search feature for both stand-alone and portable computers. The ARS-BARC Nutrient Data Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, provides free electronic access to SR16 online from its website and via download onto certain personal computers, hand-held digital assistants and laptops. SR16 also will soon be available for purchase on CD-ROM. To access SR16, go to:




NCBA reports that the beef industry’s aggressive 2003 Summer Grilling promotion continues to sizzle and entice consumers’ appetite for beef!  According to a release, targeted national marketing initiatives, strong state beef council involvement, and more than $4 million in support from key partners such as A.1. Marinades and Steak Sauce, E&J Gallo Wines and Kingsford Charcoal, have helped extend this year’s nationwide promotion. The promotion utilizes the beef industry’s tagline, “Beef.  It’s What’s for Dinner,” which is part of the ad campaign recognized by 87% of consumers.


The 2003 promotion, running from May through Labor Day, has included participation from more than 15 key retailers, including Albertson’s, Safeway and Kroger.  To date, extensive radio advertising and traffic spots, including retailer tags encouraging consumers to purchase beef, have aired in more than thirty top markets.  In addition to advertising efforts, more than 160 special added value promotional opportunities will be taking place across the country in top markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth.


“We have created an effective campaign that focuses on all beef cuts, with the goal of increasing the sales and demand for beef during the summer. With the continued support from the state beef councils and key retailers, we believe the Summer Grilling campaign will substantially improve these numbers,” said Randy Irion, director of retail marketing services for the NCBA, in the release.  “Since more beef is sold during the summer months, we wanted to reach out to our consumers and build upon the excitement of grilling by encouraging the purchase of America’s favorite protein.” For more information about the 2003 Summer Grilling Promotion, contact Randy Irion at 312-670-9403 or visit the website at:




Lean Trimmings and Herd on the Hill are offered electronically. If you’d like to receive the newsletter via e-mail, please contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533. Receive the latest news every Monday afternoon in your inbox instead of waiting for it in the mail!


NMA reports news items that are of special interest to its readers, and provides information that they may want to be able to access.  Below are links to the Federal Register, AMS, APHIS, and FSIS, respectively:


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Last week NMA wrote to FSIS Administrator Dr. Garry L. McKee to strongly urge that FSIS abandon its plans to close the Salem Oregon Sub-District Office. The Salem Sub-District Office provides vital and timely services to the industry and consumers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianna Islands. The aforementioned area, which comprises several time zones, includes a total of 356 Federally inspected establishments employing a workforce of several thousand men and women and providing products to over 13.3 million consumers.  


“Under the plan to eliminate this office, FSIS proposes to oversee the establishments from a geographical location that is completely unacceptable.  One NMA member who is located in the State of Washington indicated that presently a face-to-face meeting with District Officials is only a matter of traveling 300 miles as compared to the proposed new location in Denver CO, which is over 2,000 miles away.   The disparity will encumber any efforts in onsite problem resolution by upper management and cause a dependency on local middle managers that generally have a traditional bias in their assessment since it is their decisions that are being challenged. 


“In addition, nearly all of the official establishments in the Salem Sub-District are in a time zone that is at least one hour different from Denver, and two states, Hawaii and Alaska, and the territories are two or more hours different from Denver. This makes some of the establishments six hours from Washington D.C. time, or at the very least three hours from Washington D.C. time.  This is a significant issue for the establishments in the jurisdiction of the Salem Sub-District Office. No other part of the United States is at such a disadvantage. 


“Finally, the move, as with previous efforts of consolidation, will mean a further reduction in staff and a certain reduction in the ability to provide services to those who need immediate assistance.  NMA understands that the services currently being supplied will be severely diminished and, as an immediate result, will place the establishments at an economic disadvantage with their competitors who are located so as to afford ready access to District Office personnel.  It is significant that the huge majority of the firms that will be affected, with only a few exceptions, are small and very small plants.”




The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM) President, Dr. Neal Barnard, is the author of a new book, Breaking the Food Seduction. However, some of Dr. Barnard’s contentions in the book about the nature of obesity do not have widespread support. Following is a response by Susan Finn, Chair, American Council For Fitness and Nutrition, Washington, D.C., to an Insight piece by Dr. Barnard, which was published July 13, 2003:




“Neal D. Barnard’s July 13 Insight piece, ‘The food fix is in,’ is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the brain’s response to pleasurable stimulus.


“Barnard’s theories are not based in sound science, do not focus on the true root causes of obesity and will not solve our nation’s obesity problem. Studies have demonstrated that anything pleasurable can cause changes in brain function. Certainly, food acts on the brain and delights our senses - as does exercise, a pleasant aroma or a hug - but this is not an addiction.


“The scientifically sound answer to weight management is that calories in must equal calories out. It sounds simple, but achieving and maintaining the appropriate weight control behavior isn’t easy - as too many of us know. Any dietitian or fitness expert will tell you that self-motivation is key to achieving sustainable weight control. We must also address the wide range of unknowns in metabolism, personal preference and cultural conditioning that contribute to an individual’s weight and lifestyle choices.


“It may not be as sexy as ‘addictive foods,’ but reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity is the proven way to help individuals lose weight and improve their health for the long-term.”


August 20Regulatory Update & Issues Seminar – Lake Geneva, WI

August 21-23 - Basic HACCP in Spanish -- Los Angeles, CA

September 18-20 - Basic HACCP -- San Francisco, CA

October 1-2 - Beyond Basics  -- College Station, TX

Contact NMA at (510) 763-1533 for more information and registration materials.


August 12-15, 2003, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, $95 per person

The International HACCP Alliance is offering a condensed version of the USDA/FSIS Consumer Safety Officer (CSO) Educational Program and the Food Safety Regulatory Essentials (FSRE) program. The session will focus on the CSO Work Methods and Administrative Enforcement Activities of the Consumer Safety Officer and the FSRE program will focus on elements being taught to inspectors from FSIS Directive 5000.1, Revision 1. Contact the International HACCP Alliance office at 979-862-3643 for more information.

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The Beef Value Cuts Guide has been updated. Beef Value Cuts are steaks cut from the chuck and round that are the result of a new cutting approach, taking the best portion of what used to be sold as larger roasts and cutting these into individual steaks. These cuts were selected for their palatability, tenderness and flavor. Because of the new cutting method, they have no wasteful fat trim or connective tissue.  The cuts offer the consumer many positive benefits, including convenience, affordability, versatility and lean beef options.


Designed to meet the increasing needs of beef industry professionals, the updated materials include a laminated cutting guide featuring updated photos and more-detailed instructions, and a Spanish-language version instruction video.  Additionally, the beef industry is taking on a new venture to educate consumers on the new steaks with a take-away piece available to retailers and state beef councils. These materials, along with the entire Beef Value Cuts Guide, are now available free of charge to beef industry professionals. To order the free Beef Value Cuts materials, please contact the NCBA Customer Service Department at 800-368-3138 and request them by their item numbers as follows: Laminated Beef Value Cuts Cutting Guide Insert (Item 24704); Beef Value Cuts Training Video Spanish Language Version (Item 24629); “New Steak Smell” Dangler (Item 24705); and Complete Guide to Beef Value Cuts (Item 24623).




AUGUST 20-23, 2003


For more information, contact NMA at 510-763-1533 or [email protected]



NMA - East: 1400 - 16th St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington D.C. 20036 Ph. (202) 667-2108

NMA - West: 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612 Ph. (510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

August 4, 2003




Canada’s trading partners remain stalwart in imposing bans on Canadian ruminants. Mexico, previously reported as the frontrunner in resuming ruminant trade with Canada (see the July 21, 2003 Lean Trimmings) has now said it won’t decide on lifting the ban on Canadian cattle until major beef exporting nations like Japan feel safe from contamination by re-export, according to a July 31, 2003 Reuters report. “What we need to do, Mexico and the United States, is demonstrate to Japan that our systems of identification of origin are sufficiently good,” Javier Trujillo, head of Mexico’s government animal health commission, said in the report.


“Really, until I have the guarantee that it won’t affect my status to continue exporting to the United States, I’m not going to make a decision,” said Trujillo. Prior to the ban, Canada was reportedly the second largest supplier of beef to Mexico after the United States, with between 15% and 20% of the market share. In fact, in 2002 Canada exported 8,142 head of purebred breeding bovines worth $14.3 million to Mexico, and 2,531 dairy cows worth $4.4 million.


Reuters also reported that the United States was in talks last week with two of the largest buyers of American beef, Japan and South Korea, on U.S. steps to guard against BSE. Last Tuesday Japan announced that it would raise tariffs on its U.S. chilled beef imports to 50%, an increase of 11.5%, beginning August 1, 2003. As reported in Lean Trimmings two weeks ago, this action is a “safeguard” tariff spike. NCBA noted in a release that this tariff increase comes from a “safeguard measure,” which was originally put in place to protect Japanese beef producers from injury due to a sudden surge in imports. The safeguard is designed so that if in a current year quarterly imports of fresh/chilled and/or frozen beef (separately) increase more than 17% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Japan’s current 38.5% tariff on imported product may increase to 50% on all imported beef to protect the domestic industry. We can expect that Japan will also hold steadfast on its request for country of origin certification of all beef exports.


Historically, Japan represents the top U.S. export market for beef and beef variety meats.  Cattle Buyers Weekly (CBW) reported today that the White House intends to keep the Japanese beef market, and that message apparently comes from President Bush himself. This means that compliance with Japan’s request will probably be called for by September 1, 2003, despite opposition from some industry groups. USDA has proposed a Beef Origin Identification (BOI) program to satisfy Japan’s request. The BOI program would exclude ruminant product from any countries that have had a BSE case, and provide for the segregation and exclusion of Canadian cattle from exports to Japan. USDA said that a USDA team recently held “productive talks” with Japanese officials on the BOI proposal. CBW further reported USDA as saying that the Canadian border will remain closed until the issue with Japan is resolved. However, top USDA officials recently told industry members that the U.S. has never accepted product from BSE countries, causing some to wonder whether the border will be reopened even if the industry complies with Japan’s request.  Much of the debate hinges on Japanese consumers, and whether or not they’re willing to buy U.S. beef without the country of origin certification. CBW noted that if Japan were to bar U.S. beef imports, the public outcry would probably have Japan backing down in a matter weeks. The tariff spike means that Japanese consumers will undoubtedly be paying more for beef. The BSE issue clearly shows the extent to which we have a global economy.


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On Thursday, July 31, 2003, FSIS published a final rule in the Federal Register entitled, “Definitions and Standards of Identity or Composition: Elimination of the Pizza with Meat or Sausage Standards.” The Agency is rescinding the regulatory standards of identity for “pizza with meat” and “pizza with sausage.”  FSIS has determined that the standards no longer serve their original purpose of protecting the public from economic deception.  FSIS also believes that the standards may be inhibiting manufacturers of federally inspected pizzas from producing and marketing the styles of pizzas that today’s consumers demand. Once this rule becomes effective, products may be identified with a common or usual name that includes the term “pizza;” identifies the meat or poultry component, e.g., “pepperoni;” and declares other components as a feature that distinguishes them from the other pizza products, e.g. “pizza - garlic sauce, tomatoes, reduced-fat cheese, and seasoned beef strips on a crust.”


FSIS is also amending the meat and poultry products inspection regulations to require, for a limited time, that the labels of products identified as meat or poultry pizzas in their common or usual names include the percent of meat or poultry in the product.  This labeling requirement will expire after three years.  FSIS is adopting this requirement because, based on comments received in response to the proposed rule, the Agency has concluded that some consumers still rely on the standards to ensure that a product identified as a meat or poultry “pizza” contains a certain amount of meat or poultry.  FSIS will allow pizza manufacturers to exhaust their remaining packaging inventory before they will be required to comply with the new labeling requirement. Requiring percent labeling of the meat or poultry content of non-standardized pizzas for a limited time is a transitional step to allow these consumers to understand the nature of the food.


This rule becomes effective October 22, 2003. The final rule is available on the Web at the following address: For further information contact Robert C. Post, Ph.D., Director, Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 205-0279.




Last Monday the FDA said it might require U.S. animal feed manufacturers to adopt new food safety checkpoints as an extra measure to prevent BSE. According to a Reuters report, the FDA said it was considering an animal feed safety system similar to the USDA’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system (HACCP). Reportedly, the Agency said that kind of system would also help prevent potentially unsafe drug residues in meat products.


FDA also reportedly said it was reviewing its six-year-old ban on feeding cattle remains to other livestock. The Agency said last week that it will hold a meeting Sept. 23 and 24 to discuss its plan to develop a new animal feed safety system aimed at minimizing the risk to animals and ultimately to consumers who eat animal-derived products, according to a Food Chemical News report. The meeting will focus on how mixed animal feeds and feed ingredients should be manufactured and distributed to lessen the health hazards associated with feeds. The agency said it is seeking input in its proposed feed safety system from consumers, animal feed processors, animal producers and state and local officials. 


The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 23, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., and Wednesday, September 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Dulles International Airport Hotel, 2300 Dulles Corner Blvd., Herndon, VA, (800) 233-1234 or (703) 713-1234. Registration for the meeting is free, but registration is required and must be made before September 19, due to limited seating.  Access the meeting announcement, registration information, and the agenda at: For more information, contact George Graber at 301-827-6651.




The New York Times reported last Friday that three members of Congress, all members of the Congressional Food Safety Caucus, recently toured a plant in Fort Worth, TX run by Texas American Foodservice. Reps. Charles W. Stenholm (D-TX), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Tom Latham (R-IA) reportedly spoke to safety inspectors and scientists, as well as to workers who measure pathogen levels in the meat every 15 minutes as it moves down the production line. David Theno, senior vice president of Jack in the Box, who established the food safety system with officials at the plant, reportedly told the lawmakers that new federal standards might be necessary but that in any event, supervision was crucial. “When we first started our testing system, we didn’t have many friends in the industry,” said Tim Biela, vice president for food safety at Texas American, in the report. He added, the company’s suppliers “didn’t want to have us test their meat. Now they’re calling us up and asking, ‘Now how do you do it?’” The lawmakers’ visit is a big step in the right direction, and NMA commends their initiative. Dr. Theno and Mr. Biela also deserve recognition for their efforts to educate our lawmakers about the industry.




All members are invited to attend NMA’s 2003 Summer Conference! Download a copy of the brochure, which includes a registration form, for the Conference at: Download a registration form for the Regulatory Issues & Update Seminar at: Update _ Issues Seminar-2.pdf. Contact us at [email protected] or 510-763-1533 to receive materials for both events by fax, e-mail or mail.