That Stinks! Congressional Subcommittee Discovers Food Industry Emails on Meat Packaging, Raising New Health Issues

The controversial practice of adding carbon monoxide to meat packages took a beating Tuesday when members of Congress said federal regulators may have relied on faulty data when deciding to allow the packaging, which keeps meat red even after it has spoiled.

A congressional subcommittee Tuesday revealed e-mails from foodmakers in which workers questioned study data that lawmakers say went to government reviewers, who allowed the packaging in 2004.

In the e-mails, a Hormel employee said he was “puzzled” that the data didn’t produce a “clear correlation” between microbial counts, gas and odor in tested meats — as would be expected. He was responding to a Cargill employee who, in another e-mail, questioned why meat with more odor had microbial counts similar to less smelly meat.

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