California Assembly Member Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) has introduced a bill (A.B. 682) that “would prohibit chicken or turkey sold in any state-owned or state-leased building at food concessions and cafeterias from being ‘plumped’ in any way.” The legislation defines “plumped” poultry as any such product injected with “saltwater, chicken stock, seaweed extract, or some combination thereof… to increase its weight and price.”

“The practice of ‘plumping’ chicken or turkey can increase the sodium content by up to 500 percent,” states the bill, which would take effect January 1, 2014, or upon the expiration of existing vending and concession contracts. “Fresh, natural chicken should have no more than 70 mg of sodium per four ounce serving, whereas plumped chicken can contain up to 400 mg sodium. The average household of four people, because of ‘plumping’ chicken or turkey, spends approximately $127 per year on saltwater.”