"The proposed rule is important to help consumers make informed decisions," said USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "USDA looks forward to working with all interested parties to ensure that consumers [receive] accurate information."

In January, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed this change in accordance with current regulations governing compliance with nutrition labeling after voluntary participation fell below a 60 percent threshold in October 1999. The October 1999 national survey showed compliance at 54.8 percent.

USDA is requesting that additional comments on the "Proposed Rule to Require Nutrition Labeling on Single-Ingredient Meat and Poultry Products" be received by July 18, 2001.