May 16, 1997
Ms. Linda Golodner, President
National Consumers League
1701 K St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
Thank you again for meeting with representatives of the meat industry on Wednesday, May 14 to discuss Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR) technology, the inspection controls that we support to ensure safety, the product quality issues and your expectations, and the potential benefits for improving ergonomic conditions. The principals of the firms who accompanied me particularly appreciated the straight-forward discussion of issues and concerns. Thank you also for including consumer advocacy associates in the meeting.
National Meat Association commited that it would urge its members to fully comply with the recent FSIS Directive dated April 14, 1997 for the removal of spinal cord and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, NMA will encourage its members to establish quality control procedures on raw materials entering AMR systems to assure compliance. We further committed to address the compositional concerns that you raised by developing additional data, and to work with FSIS and your organization on progress, with a full briefing by the end of summer.
You told us that you believe that your concerns about spinal cord have been addressed, both by the action of FSIS and the commitments described above. You further said that the commitments by the industry, coupled with those made by FSIS, to test for bone marrow and other quality constituents and to follow the scientific findings in comparing the AMR product with meat satisfy your concerns at this time. We will share information that we develop with you and other interested parties.
You told us that you would not release the names of firms that have responded to your April press release and letters since this could be counter-productive to the good faith efforts of all interested parties to address and resolve the concerns that you have raised.
Finally, we have communicated your views about "public relations" activities to the Coalition and these will be addressed
Thank you again.
cc: Steve Spiritas, Supreme Beef Processors
Terry Caviness, Caviness Packing Co.
Gary Waldman, United Food Group