Activism works: ‘pink slime’ manufacturer files for bankruptcy

credit: Reuters/Nati Harnik/Pool

Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Activist Post

AFA Foods, a leading American processor of ground beef, has filed for bankruptcy, citing the wave of negative media coverage surrounding their so-called “pink slime” product.

The huge amount of media coverage that has recently been devoted to the Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT), better known as “pink slime,” can be chalked up almost entirely to the attention of countless activists across the United States.

The USDA was a major purchaser of the pink slime product, recently purchasing some seven million pounds of the highly unappetizing product.

This pushed over 250,000 Americans to sign a petition online which demanded a complete stop to the use of pink slime in school food.

The USDA’s response was especially lackluster given the fact that even fast food chains who are infamous for using incredibly unhealthy products renounced the product.

This is hardly surprising given the fact that supposed regulatory bodies are increasingly run by those who they are supposed to regulate as evidenced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refusing to ban Bisphenol-A (BPA) as well as spying on the emails of employees who expose the agency’s malfeasance.

AFA Foods announced that they had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to “recent changes in the market for its ground beef products and the impact of media coverage related to Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT).”

Of course, these “recent changes in the market” are due to the negative publicity and public outcry that has ensued from the exposure of these disgusting products.

AFA Foods, run out of King of Prussia Pennsylvania, dubs itself one of the nation’s largest ground beef processors. They claim to produce over 700 million pounds every year, most of which goes to food service companies.

“The best way to preserve value for its stakeholders is through an orderly sale of some or all of its assets,” AFA Foods said in a statement explaining the rationale behind their decision.

BLBT, better known as pink slime for its less-than-appetizing appearance, is produced from the beef trimmings which would otherwise be used in food for animal consumption as well as cooking oil.

These trimmings, which used to be widely regarded as waste products, are treated with ammonia in an effort to kill the E. coli bacteria and then processed to be served to humans.

The product, which looks a bit like strawberry-flavored soft serve ice cream, is usually added to ground meat products, like hamburgers, as an extremely low-cost filler.

The loud public outcry over pink slime pushed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to state in mid-March that they would leave it up to individual schools to make the ultimate decision as to the usage of BLBT.

Unfortunately, this was far short of what many activists hoped for, as the USDA’s National School Lunch Program provides food for over 31 million children in schools across the United States.

Many of these children come from low-income families and thus don’t have a choice when it comes to what they eat at school.

Even McDonald’s declared that they would stop using BLBT as a filler in their hamburgers, although it is hard to tell if they have followed through as of yet.

Regardless, their public rejection of the product says quite a lot.

Unfortunately, it is not just the producers of the wretched pink slime that will suffer the consequences of their actions.

Over 1,000 employees of AFA Foods will likely be the ones who ultimately feel the pain of the bankruptcy most, as they will likely be losing most, if not all, of their employees and closing down their seven production facilities.

If historical precedent is any indicator, we can expect the executives to get off scot-free while the employees are the ones who feel the pain from these unsustainable and unhealthy business practices.

I personally hope that all of those who unduly suffer economic woes due to the pink slime publicity make a rapid recovery while those actually behind the creation and widespread use of BLBT are held accountable for their parasitic business practices.

Did I miss anything or would you like to submit some of your own original writing or perhaps send a story tip or some other information my way? Email me at

Meat Industry to Retaliate for Pink Slime Exposure with Higher Prices
Activist Outrage Causes Major Supermarkets to Drop ‘Pink Slime’ Meat

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on Orion Talk Radio from 8 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can find HERE.  If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at

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