Originally published March 29 2012
Pink slime factories shuttered after massive public backlash
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) For several decades now, the conventional beef industry has secretly been lacing ground beef products with an industrial, ammonia-laced byproduct known as "pink slime," a disturbing fact that recently came to the forefront of national attention after Food Network chef Jamie Oliver first drew attention to its existence. And consumer backlash has been so strong ever since that a number of supermarket chains, restaurants, and even schools have decided to stop supplying it, which has caused its primary producer, Beef Products Inc. (BPI), to close three of its four manufacturing plants.
USA Today and others are reporting that Dakota Dunes, South Dakota-based BPI is temporarily closing its Waterloo, Iowa; Garden City, Kansas; and Amarillo, Texas plants for an indefinite period of time as a result of widespread consumer rejection of pink slime products. Workers at these plants will continue to receive pay and benefits for the next 60 days, but it is unclear what will happen after these next two months expire, should the plants continue to remain closed.
Meanwhile, BPI is launching an aggressive public relations campaign to fight back against its critics, which includes claiming that pink slime is "100 percent beef," and that it is a highly-nutritious and safe product. And many in the media are jumping onboard this propaganda bandwagon by spinning the situation back against consumers, who are technically victims that have been been duped all these years into buying ground beef products that were secretly adulterated with pink slime.
In case you missed the original story, pink slime, which is officially known as "lean finely textured beef," is basically a low-cost ground beef filler composed of beef scraps that are mashed, processed with a chemical ammonia solution, and turned into an unappetizing pink paste, the pictures of which have circulated the internet in recent months (http://www.naturalnews.com/035255_pink_slime_USDA_school_lunches.html).
This pink slime has been added to roughly 70 percent of all ground beef products since the 1990s, but few were aware of it. Pink slime is obviously not labeled on ground beef packages, and the only way consumers can know for sure that they are not consuming it is to buy local or organic ground beef, or to watch the beef being ground fresh before buying it.
BPI, mainstream media launch attack on consumers for rejecting pink slimeIt is abundantly clear that the vast majority of American consumers are not interested in feeding their children a highly-processed additive that has been treated with toxic ammonia, which is why the product is being pulled from grocery store shelves, restaurant menus, and schools all across the country. But BPI is not going down without a fight, as it is launching a campaign that basically insults the intelligence of Americans by claiming that pink slime is no different from real beef.
But according to former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Gerald Zirnstein, pink slime is not actually meat, nor is it as nutritious as meat, a sentiment to which his former colleague Carl Custer also agrees. And Kit Foshee, a former executive at BPI, appears to hold the same view, having told ABC News that pink slime is processed from fat and cuts that would otherwise not ever be used as food.
"Microbiologically safe and nutritionally complete are two different issues," said Custer to ABC News, referring to BPI's claim that pink slime contains little fat and is pathogen-free. "It may be pink [but], nutritionally, it is not equivalent to whole-muscle tissue" (http://abcnews.go.com).
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