Friday, April 12, 2013

Judge Orders Pink Slime Silence to Protect Company

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Iowa State University has conducted food safety research of the beef product deemed "Pink Slime" by the mass public.

Lean-finely-texturized-beef (LFTB) is a meat filler made from ammoniated boneless lean beef scraps, connective tissue or similar products, which are considered unfit for human consumption until ammonium hydroxide has been added - due to e.coli and salmonella. It was dog food until the meat industry lobbied its use as meat filler for us.

South Dakota-based company Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) filed legal action in 2010 to block records release after they were requested by a Seattle food safety law firm and the New York Times. Last month, District Judge Dale Ruigh upheld the block and ruled that releasing those records would do "irreparable harm" and reveal information about proprietary food-processing techniques.

The harm to both company and consumer has already been done. What is so scandalous that we don't already know?

The information they don't want released involves professor James Dickson of Iowa State University who was hired as a BPI consultant in 2002. But, he has said that his research found that ammonia treatment on meat makes it safer by killing bacteria.

Did he find something else? Do the records confess something previously omitted? It doesn't sound like he has had negative findings. Perhaps BPI anticipated a backlash and filed in 2010 to hold it off. So much for any kind of transparency. For whatever reason, BPI doesn't want it out there and the judge agrees it would harm the already failing company. BPI had to close down 3 out of its 4 branches.

Activist outrage caused grocery and fast food chains to drop LFBT. A disgruntled former employee tried to sue Diane Sawyer, ABC company, Jamie Oliver, and a food blogger for damages, yet it coincides with his book deal about Pink Slime ruining his life - he retracted the lawsuit.

The vast public didn't know about the ammonium gas because the product isn't labeled as such - it's considered a part of the process and generally recognized as safe by the government. And that product is mixed into ground beef as a filler, also considered a part of processing. But if a sickness breaks out, it would be impossible to trace - think of the variety of sources cattle ground beef comes from; now think of the filler scraps.

The meat industry had the sheer gall to blame the public for finding out (not unlike a Scooby-Doo villain) and for jobs lost. They retaliated by threatening higher prices without the filler. Way to serve. Meanwhile, the real culprits - the FDA and USDA - escaped the PR nightmare.

With all the fuss about food safety with the Food Safety Modernization Act and raw milk scare tactics, one would think the FDA and USDA would come down hard on companies whose products could either trigger deadly food sickness or reaction from ammonia treatment. But they continue to protect it and shove it on school children - it's voluntary, but many budget-strapped schools will continue to serve it in the National School Lunch Program as it has been deemed safe.

The Obama administration has imparted hundreds of millions to the FDA for food safety in its newest campaign, which spends millions to harass peaceful farmers and yields to corporate moguls and subsidized darlings.

Sources: Associated Press

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

Recent articles by Heather Callaghan

Jon Stewart Highlights Monsanto Protection Absurdity
Syngenta and Bayer's Answer to Bee Decline: Just Plant More Flowers
World's Youngest Investigative Talk Show Host
Monsanto Protection Act Signed Into Law
Conventional Doctors Now Standing Against ADHD "Study Drugs"


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.


Anonymous said...

Excellent article Heather.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Tuesday Soylent Green day?

Teds8910 said...

When I read the AP article it said that the company didn't want their proprietary trade secrets to get out. I guess if I had a company that had an edge above everyone else because I spent lots of money to make sure that my product better than the others, I wouldn't want it to get out either. Am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

i'll bet this juge has freezes fill with beef as his payoff

Anonymous said...

They should dye it green, then the "Pink slime" would loose it's scariness. LOL.

Griz Bear said...

We do have the best government money can buy.

Bilejones said...


" Am I missing something here? "

Yes, the right of people to know if what they are being sold as "Beef" is something else.

It's called fraud.

Heather Callaghan said...

Hey @Teds - Thank you for bringing this up. It is important to clarify that it would not be cool to force a company to reveal proprietary info to the public. I pictured the tea company I worked for and an imaginary biz of my own. Major infringement there.

Yet, the government does use this kind of scrutiny when they deem something hazardous - rawesome food raid, raw milk farmers, morningland cheese. (the small farms tend to be more transparent so revealing operation info hasn't been too much of a problem)

This gets into a sticky issue that Activist Post has been trying to grasp lately with the ag gag laws. Is pink slime a public safety issue or is it a "what consumers don't want" issue?

I was mostly curious as to what we don't already know about the process - what more don't we know that could cause irreparable harm to the company? Is it like Monsanto comparing GMO labels to a skull and crossbones?

I was trying to point out the hypocrisy of the gov't blasting certain food production and smearing it - yet going through great lengths to protect others - usually the big ag ones they've invested in. BPI products does have contracts with government run schools and its safety is pretty questionable.

But I always go back to consumer choice - if one doesn't like, don't choose it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Heather (author) and other Public readers.
Two things come to my mind, first, it states that the items which make up this food where originally for dog food. So it begs the question, are there less dogs now. secondly, I agree about corporate secrets protecting the company, but what about the health consequences, if in deed there are any, to the public at large. Lastly, I wonder does the company that makes this new concoction, actually eat it, or is it just for the masses consumption?

My thanks to both the writer and public responses.
concerned citizen

Post a Comment