Wednesday, February 22, 2006

CNN: Carbon monoxide may mask bad meat, critics say


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shoppers who judge the freshness of meat by its color may be deceived by a relatively new industry practice of treating meat with carbon monoxide, critics say.

The meat industry defends the use of carbon monoxide to help meat retain its pink hue, saying large sums of money are wasted when sellers throw away meat that is still safe to eat but is not as attractive because it is slightly brown."

Since 2002, the FDA has allowed three meat producing or packaging firms to use carbon monoxide under a process known as "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS.

Under GRAS notifications, the FDA conducts no research on its own, instead relying on the notifier's documents confirming the safety of the product."


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