Deputy State Assembly Majority Leader Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) applauded the New Jersey Department of Agriculture today for its announcement that it will prohibit New Jersey schools from serving beef that has been treated with ammonia in the upcoming academic year.
The ammonia-treated filler in the beef has been referred to as “pink slime,” and has been receiving national attention as other states begin to implement similar bans. The ban follows a federal recommendation stemming from concern over the use of industrialized food products in school systems.
“This is a proactive step towards the health and well-being of our students,” Gusciora said. “How can we expect top performances from our children when they are being served ‘mystery meat’ with questionable nutrition?”
According to federal regulators, the filler, or “pink slime,” has been used for years. While the USDA claims that the ammonia used to treat the beef filler is barely noticeable in the finished product because of its rapid dissipation, concerns about the treatment method have been brought to the forefront of various nutrition discussions.
The Department of Agriculture is allowing New Jersey schools to make their own decision when it comes to the orders of beef for the remainder of the current school year, but with the condition that no subsidies will be provided should the school decide to cancel their orders.
“We are working hand in hand on a federal level with this ban in an attempt to address the health of our nation’s children,” Gusciora said in a press release about the ban. “I look forward to this step and many others in promising a healthy school year.”