Food safety and consumer choice in school lunch program

April 6, 2001

Secretary Ann M. Veneman
US Department of Agriculture
14th and Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Veneman:

On behalf of the 40,000 active member families of PCC Natural Markets, a consumer-owned natural grocery chain here in Washington state, I would like to thank you for your recent support of food safety and consumer choice in the school lunch program.

Specifically, we applaud your reversal of the department's proposal to eliminate salmonella testing of ground beef and to replace that testing with irradiation of product. We also appreciate your upholding of the strengthened listeria testing of ready-to-eat meats advanced by the previous administration.

Our consumers are uniformly concerned about food safety and want to be able to make informed choices about the foods they eat and serve to their children. These concerns go beyond any political considerations. We thank you again for your genuine support of American consumers on both these counts.

Sincerely,

Randy Lee
Interim Co-CEO

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