WASHINGTON — Rep. Chellie says ground beef containing the filler derided by critics as “pink slime” should be clearly labeled.

The Maine Democrat today introduced legislation mandating that, the Requiring Easy and Accurate Labeling of Beef Act.

The REAL Beef Act is needed in the wake of news earlier this month that ground beef was being served in school lunches and elsewhere that contained beef trimmings and scraps and other fillers sometimes treated with ammonia, Pingree said.

The Obama administration has said school districts can opt out of serving the product, but Pingree, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, wants a complete ban.

Short of that, Pingree says better labeling is needed on the packages of beef consumers buy at the grocery store.

“Consumers have made it pretty clear they don’t want this stuff in their food,” Pingree said in a statement. “If a product contains connective tissue and beef scraps and has been treated with ammonia, you ought to be able to know that when you pick it up in the grocery store.”

Pingree’s office said she has 10 co-sponsors so far, all Democrats.

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