Branstad on 'pink slime': Dude, it's beef

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Political leaders joined food safety and agricultural experts for a tour of Beef Products, Inc., to maintain the use and safety of lean finely textured beef, also referred to as “pink slime.”

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy and South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels toured the only BPI plant presently in operation as demand for LFTB orders from groceries across the country have declined since the “pink slime” controversy began. In a press conference following the tour, Branstad compared the media interest in pink slime to the swine flu a few years ago when pork consumption decreased largely because of consumers’ lack of knowledge about the topic.

Branstad recognized the need to educate the public about LFTB saying the product's tagline should be, “Dude, it’s beef,” and called for an end to the smear campaign. Speakers at the press conference after the tour focused on the safety of LFTB, citing zero illnesses caused by the product since its creation over two decades ago.

With decreasing orders of LFTB from groceries and school lunch programs, beef prices are expected to increase and more cows will be needed to meet demand. Exports and domestic cattle production will need to increase to provide the same amount of beef.

Concerns with ammonia

Gary Acuff, director of the Center for Food Safety at Texas A&M University, spoke to the use of ammonia in the LFTB process. Ammonia is not a necessary step, but is done to make the product safer. Acuff pointed to other consumer products with ammonia including chocolate, coffee creamers and tofu.

He said the beef industry is heavily invested in food safety and added the science-based process made use of as much beef as possible.

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oregon  |  March, 29, 2012 at 09:13 PM

it's beef that's been heated up, rendered, gassed and then mixed with fresh meat... dude, you eat it, not me, no way..

Wisconsin  |  March, 30, 2012 at 09:00 AM

And you have the luxury/choice of making the purchases you want. But leave the rest of us to trust science and the strict safety standards of USDA. And none of us need irresponsible journalism demonizing an exemplary business, costing people jobs, scaring citizens for no reason, forcing waste, and increasing the price of ground meat.

Iowa  |  March, 30, 2012 at 08:56 AM

Dude, need to read the paper! Wendy's has a full page ad titled "Where's The PURE Beef?" At Wendy's, that's where! We use nothing but pure, 100% fresh, never-frozen North American Beef. We've never used fillers, additives, preservatives, flavor boosters or ammonia treatments. We've never used "pink slime", and NEVER WILL. That's our promise to you. That's Wendy's Way. As always, politicians are leading from behind. I suggest they get out of the way because this train is coming down the tracks, like it or not. The fast food industry knows a good thing when they see it, and Pink Slime will sell real hamburgers, that's a guarantee, Dude.

Texas  |  March, 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM

All the hype about Pink Slime......why don't they investigate what Chicken McNuggets are acutally made of ?! Now THAT would be interesting. Beef is THE most nutrient dense food a person can consume, and just like all other foods, great when eaten in moderation.

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