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Statement Of the American Meat Institute About Impact of 'Pink Slime' Scare Campaign

Monday, March 26, 2012

Attribute Statement to AMI President J. Patrick Boyle

March 26, 2012, Washington, D.C. --“Congratulations, ABC World News.  Your relentless coverage and uninformed criticism of a safe and wholesome beef product has now delivered a hook for yet another nightly news broadcast.

Today, a three-week war waged on a beef product called lean finely textured beef came to a painful head as hundreds of people lost their jobs when one of the primary processors shuttered three plants.  While lean finely texture beef was given a catchy and clever nickname in 'pink slime,' the impact of alarming broadcasts about this safe and wholesome beef product by Jamie Oliver, ABC News and others are no joke to those families that are now out of work.     

Lean finely textured beef has been processed for two decades, blended into ground beef at very low levels to enhance the leanness of ground beef and safely consumed. But the frenzy of misinformation that has swirled during the last several weeks gives new meaning to Winston Churchill’s great quote, 'A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.'

Those who have tried to inject reason and facts  -- many of whom are from the meat science community and in the best position to deliver accurate information -- have been attacked as so-called 'slimewashers' because their characterization is different from the popular misconceptions. 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it one more time:  Lean finely textured beef is a safe and nutritious beef product that has been used for two decades.  It is produced according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules and under USDA inspection.  USDA’s confidence in the product is evidenced by the fact that it buys the product for its feeding programs.  Its safety and wholesomeness is further bolstered by support from leaders in the consumer and food safety communities.

In the end, today’s developments are a sad day for the families of those who lost their jobs.  Other American families will also pay the price at the checkout counter as they see the price of ground beef begin to rise while we work to grow as many as 1.5 million more head of cattle to replace the beef that will no longer be consumed due to this manufactured scare.”

For more information, about lean finely textured beef, go to http://www.meatsafety.org/ where you will see a complete list of resources. 


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