All about BeefI would like to clarify the cattle...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 18, 1992

All about Beef

I would like to clarify the cattle industry's position on nutrition labeling requirements for meat and poultry for your readers. The National Cattlemen's Association (NCA) wants the opportunity to provide additional nutrition information about beef products to consumers.

Anyone who reads the newspaper is aware that the last five years have seen a steady increase in the amount of diet and nutrition advice reaching the consumer, and much of this information is confusing and contradictory.

In light of the difficulty consumers are having in weeding through volumes of nutritional dos and don'ts, the beef industry supports the development of clear, concise labeling for beef products. Beef provides many essential nutrients and is lower in fat and cholesterol than many consumers think.

NCA understands the Department of Agriculture's decision to delay nutrition labeling of meat and poultry products. However, we are somewhat disappointed with the suspension.

Beef producers urge industry and government to use this delay productively to conduct additional research to further determine the type of information consumers actually want, need and use, as well as a label format that will effectively deliver this information.

In the meantime, a voluntary program called Meat NutriFacts, launched in 1985 by the National Livestock and Meat Board, the American Meat Institute and the Food Marketing Institute, continues to provide consumers with information on nutrient composition of various cuts of beef.

Mark Armentrout

Washington, D.C.

The writer is chairman of the Food Policy and LabelinCommittee of the National Cattlemen's Association.

Girls Excel in Science

Recently an event took place at our school that was wonderful, exciting and -- to some -- unusual. It shouldn't have been. The event involved three of our students -- three girls. These girls entered the Baltimore Science Fair and walked away with 14 awards.

As headmistress of Maryvale Preparatory School for girls, I wasn't surprised. I know what great things our girls can accomplish.

However, according to a lead article on the front page of The Sun, "girls still lag in mathematics and science scores, and even those who do well in those subjects tend not to choose math and science careers."

The article supported what we've known for years. Single-sex education for girls has been shown to promote more opportunities for young women. According to a professor of education at the Catholic University of America, single-sex schools provide more chances for girls to assume leadership positions, allow for greater concentration on academic endeavors and for more exposure to a number of same-sex academic role models, both teachers and peers.

Our students showed that in an encouraging environment girls can both enjoy and excel in the sciences. Our student winners were competing against students from Howard, Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties, as well as from Baltimore City schools.

Theresa Berry, co-chair of the Maryvale Science Department said, "Our students' projects may not have been the most elaborate but the girls followed good scientific method and performed a thorough job. They're learning to look at the whole problem and to follow through. They have the confidence to do well in, and enjoy, the sciences."

To hold girls back in science, intentionally or subconsciously, is to lose a whole population of future doctors, scientists, engineers, pharmacists, environmentalists and more.

Sister Shawn Marie Maguire

Brooklandville

The writer is headmistress of Maryvale Preparatory School.

Endangered Animals

In 1973, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to preserve threatened wildlife and help it return to self-sufficiency. The act, which must be reauthorized every five years, classified protected species as either endangered or non-threatened.

An endangered species faces extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species is likely to become endangered within the near future.

The Bush administration has yet to officially announce its position on ESA reauthorization. Several members of the administration, however, Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan for one, have indicated a desire to weaken the act. Given the critical nature of our environment, the act should not only be reauthorized, but strengthened.

Recent studies show that federal programs aimed at recovering endangered and threatened species fall far short of what the law mandates. Right now, between 4,000 and 6,000 species are categorized as candidates for endangered and threatened lists.

In 1991, the Fish and Wildlife Service received its largest annual appropriation, $38.7 million. A little more than $700 million has been appropriated for the ESA during its entire history, about the amount to be spent this year on nuclear weapons research at the Sandia National Laboratory.

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