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To the editor:

Although our image of cattlemen on horseback is still correct to some degree, the beef industry as a whole has definitely galloped into modern times without many people realizing it.Your Jan. 28 article about low-fat beef, "Oat-bran additive holds promise of leaner beef and pork," gave readers an inside look at one beef industry effort to respond to consumer demands. The new low-fat ground beef varieties described are some of the latest results of beef industry-funded research.

But it is also important to note the recently launched, industrywide campaign called the "war on fat." Using high-tech tools such as ultrasound technology, gene mapping and sophisticated new computer software, the "war" will lead to leaner cattle and 20 percent less trimmable fat on wholesale and retail beef cuts by 1995.

As a result of this effort, the beef industry will not only satisfy demands for leaner meat but also make beef even more economical for consumers by increasing efficiency and lowering production costs.

Jimme Wilson, president

National Cattlemen's Association

Washington, D.C.