According to a survey commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), three out of four consumers were either very concerned or somewhat concerned about the practice of adding carbon monoxide (CO) to meat. The practice makes the meat appear bright red for several weeks longer than untreated meat.

In addition, the survey revealed that 78% of consumers said that the practice of treating red meat with carbon monoxide is deceptive, while 68% would strongly support a law to make it mandatory that meat treated with carbon monoxide be labelled as such.

The survey, conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation in early-September, polled some 1,019 men and women.

“Consumers are quite simply concerned about the addition of carbon monoxide to meat packaging,” said Chris Waldrop, deputy director of the Food Policy Institute at Consumer Federation of America. “In fact, most consumers find the practice deceptive. The FDA needs to halt this practice immediately.”

The CFA said it had written to the Food and Drug Administration in support of a citizen’s petition filed by Kalsec, Inc. in November 2005, asking FDA to prohibit this use of carbon monoxide in the packaging of fresh meat.