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NBC-TV 4 LOS ANGELES: From Steak to Sushi: What's Really in Your Food?
May 04, 2012
From Meat Glue to mislabeled seafood, one state senator is introducing bills aimed at helping us understand what's really in the food we eat.
By Patrick Healy and Julie Brayton
Prime cut, or a combination of several cuts? At a market, the label will tell you, but at a restaurant a diner won't necessarily notice the difference.
That's the issue for State Senator, Ted Lieu.
"It turns out sometimes we don't really know what we're getting," according to Lieu.
Senator Lieu has written a letter to the USDA, asking them to thoroughly investigate the industry's use of meat glue.
"Waiting to hear back from them, and depending on what they say, will determine my next move," says Lieu.
The enzyme known as transglutaminase has long been approved by the FDA, but the Internet posting of an Australian TV news report caused concerns to go viral.
Another web video offers a how-to sprinkle the powder on the cuts of meat to be joined, press them together, seal, refrigerate overnight,
and presto: reformulated meat.
The American Meat Institute posted online and interview with a food scientist who defends the process with cuts such as tenderloin.
"Our technology is used to add value to smaller pieces of meat," according to Dana Hanson, Ph.D, Food Science Professor.
Also questions about the accuracy of seafood labeling were raised in a study by the group Oceana, prompting Senator Lieu to introduce a bill specifying seafood labeling requirements.
"I think there's an overall issue of just disclosure," according to Lieu. "When you go to a restaurant and you have food, you really should be told what it is you're eating."