4/4: Latest LFTB Link Round-Up

LFTB posts worth reading from the last few days:

  • Iowa governor Terry Branstad, who has called for a Congressional probe of the “smear campaign” against LFTB, sends a letter to fellow governors seeking support and urges Iowa schools to continue to use groundbeef with the filler.
  • But some in Iowa are “queasy” at his attempt to “muzzle” food advocates.
  • Wall Street Journal‘s Market Watch opines: no matter what the beef industry does or says, maybe people just don’t want to eat this stuff.
  • Mark Bittman tries to draw larger implications from the LFTB controversy, as does David Katz, director of the Yale Research Center.
  • And if you haven’t seen it yet, do check out Stephen Colbert’s riff on LFTB —  and its nakedly political defense by the “Beefstate Governors.”

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  1. says

    “But my warning to commenters yesterday seems to have had a beneficial effect on this blog.”

    I think that the fact you are holding all comments for moderation has contributed, as well. With the lack of instantaneous feedback, some of those who are tempted to submit the more inflammatory comments may lose interest and go elsewhere (sort of like a car thief noticing a potential target vehicle has a club lock on the steering wheel, so he leaves and seeks easier prey.) Hopefully, things will calm down in the next few days.


    • Kimberly says

      Ed isn’t it a relief to not have to defend from all those awful questions and facts. They had you going crazy but no more. Now that Bettina is censoring any hardball questions we can enjoy some fun storytelling among ourselves and once in a while pile on to shout down some softball critic Bettina doesn’t delete. It is just like she is serving us little snacks! I just love this new censorship policy don’t you? We will always look calm and smart from now on. Such a relief!

      • Bettina Elias Siegel says

        Kimberly: I suppose you’ll just have to take this on faith, but in the last day I have censored exactly two comments, from the same author, for use of an obnoxious tone. Miraculously, everyone else who has commented since I announced the tightening of my moderation policy has been nothing but polite. Until you came around, that is. Since you were already warned, consider yourself banned from The Lunch Tray. Cheers.

  2. Emmie D says

    Thank you for your efforts regarding LFTB. I can finally rest assured when I go to the grocery I am getting what I intend to be purchasing as far as meat is concerned. Sadly LFTB is only one of the innumerable ingredients unnecessarily included in my food. Next if we could just get them to stop labeling MSG as a spice my grocery shopping would be that much easier.

  3. Miette says

    I’ve been a long time reader of TLT and have been active in trying to convince my school system to make lunches healthier. After I saw Food Inc., my children no longer ate school lunch since I realized that they were eating the pink slime in the ground beef served as tacos and the pink foam that makes up chicken nuggets.

    Mark Bittman and David Katz accurately describe the “pink slime” incident as the tip of the iceberg. We all know that choosing to eat a hot dog or sausage involves eating something called “mystery meat”. I’m sure it is similar to pink slime. While eating those items usually does not make one sick, they certainly aren’t on a list for healthy eating. What do I hope comes from all of this?

    We should continue to press for better labeling of all foods so that we can make choices about what to eat and feed our children. Additionally, we should continue to pressure our schools and government to improve the overall quality of food in the U.S. so that those of us who can’t make choices due to a lack of resources will have access to healthy food. It’s easy to make a buck selling cheap stuff but there are many examples of companies of doing the right thing and still making a profit.

  4. P Reis says

    Thank you for your continuing efforts to educate people and advocate for positive change in the food industry and school lunches. I’m sorry that people feel the need to blame you for job losses etc. when clearly what you and others are doing is FINALLY striking a chord with people everywhere. It is really beginning to dawn on us consumers that the food industry takes all kinds of liberties, often with the support of government, and is far from honest about what’s in our food. I beyond appreciate your efforts even in the face of the adversity you have been facing.

  5. Kevin says

    I like the referenced quote from ‘Nancy Huehnergarth’ :

    { ” I have one final piece of advice for the beef industry.

    Stop blaming the media, anti-meat activists, elitist foodies, stupid city-slickers who know nothing about agriculture and pesky liberals for your industry’s predicament.

    The reality is, American consumers have had a peek behind the barriers to transparency that you erected, and they don’t at all like what they saw. ” }


    ‘Pink-Slime’ is a major pivotal event for the entire meat industry… far beyond mere details of BPI and LFTB. That industry has now earned the general distrust of the public and meat consumers. Rebuilding that lost trust will take at least 2 generations in America.

    The USDA has proved itself a model of “regulatory capture” by the meat industry.

    Many major retailers are also deservedly guilty — they should have been stalwart protectors of consumers’ interest … rather than co-conspirators. I’ve always had a high opinion of companies like McDonalds & WalMart… as honest and reputable businesses — I now have revised that opinion.

    BPI/LFTB and their defenders here are missing the big picture entirely.

    • Erin says

      I beg to differ, I am pro LFTB…I am a midwest women with 3 children and I have educated myself on this wonderful product! This product is keeping the beef industry from being wasteful of very nutrious and good lean meat….It saddens me all of this is happening…..Yes we are going to have people on both sides of the fence on this one….but in my opinion we need to atleast have a choice as consumers….Even if I choose to buy the product I am not saying you must….All I can hope for is the as individual Americans that we each do our OWN research on this product and make sure were we get our facts is ligit….there is now so many different sides of the story…the truth is this is a good product and is not a filler it is beef…it may be treated with ammonium hydroxide but other then that nothing makes it anything but beef….the fact is this company has a founder that cares about the public…he built this business from the ground up and his goal simply was to make sure that we were not wasteful and that we had a very healthy beef product out there….the fact is that my family is and will suffer from all this as my partner is going to loose his job….he is diabetic….are you guys going to foot his medical bills? and what happened to my Constitutional Rights to choose what I want in my life with out having a 200,000 member petition determine my choice for me….I understand that you all see things different and I respect that ….but please respect mine as well….I just want everyone to come to the realization that there should be a choice….no one should have their mind made up for them….let people choose….I am sick to my stomach about all this…..you guys see this as just a huge corporation being shut down….Beef Products Inc. has only 2500+ employees but you bet those 2500 employees have families that are going to suffer at the medias expense….I believe that while some stories were pertrayed correctly a number of them were done with no tact and with out all the facts and extremely 1 sided….I understand the majority of you are going to reply to this and disagree with me and that is fine…this is my side…I am heart broken for all the families including mine….the men and women that have a huge road ahead of them as the job market in the midwest is awful! But let me tell you guys one thing you may have you opinion and may knock us down but you will not keep us down for long! I am an angry mother and you guys are part of the reason my children are going to suffer! So thank you for your help!

      • Angela says

        Erin, I agree with you completely when you say: “but in my opinion we need to atleast have a choice as consumers…” I am entitled to the same choice. School children are entitled to the same choice. Without labeling and without transparency, we don’t have that choice.

    • Mary says

      @Matt Cargill is correct to say it is not a filler. It is actually an extender by USDA standards. As an extender by USDAs definintion of “Ground beef” does not meet the definition of ground beef either.

      • Matt says

        @Mary LFTB doesn’t meet the definition of “ground” because the process of producing LFTB doesn’t fall under the classification of a “grinding” facility but rather a “raw, not ground” establishment. Nonetheless, LFTB is still 100% beef. For the record, I am too pro-labeling…because I WANT to purchase ground beef WITH LFTB.

        • Jezzi says

          It’s deceptive. Ground Beef means ground meat to the consumer. It doesn’t include all the connective tissue that is in LFTB. The Industrial Beef industry wants us to hear MEAT when they use the word BEEF. It is not pure meat as the consumer expects when they buy ground beef. It may not be any worse than hotdogs, but families serve hotdogs only occasionaly as a junk food. They don’t serve them as part of a healthy meal. This deception if passing LFTB as ground beef is the heart of the issue.

  6. Truth Seeker says

    Miss Seigel, I hope you sleep well at night knowing that your personal smear campaign has put many out of work, thus taking food off the tables of many families. You should be accountable for your actions. You make statements without regard of what it might do to someone else. I feel sorry for you and your family. I hope you can find peace knowing that you hurt some many.

    • P Reis says

      Two years ago, 6 days before my second daughter was due (she ended up arriving 12 days later), my husband was laid off from his job. He worked for a company that was merging with a major ticketing/promotion firm. Ticket sales were down, and the new company couldn’t support employees from both sides. Did I blame people who weren’t buying concert tickets? No. Did I blame critics who wrote bad reviews? Of course not. Did I blame consumers who were choosing to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere in a tough economy? No way. But I especially did not blame people who were critical of the company’s ticketing policies and way of doing business (there were plenty). It would have been absurd. Just as its absurd for you to blame Bettina for the loss of jobs in the meat industry. You may have noticed that over the past several years LOTS of people in lots of different industries have lost their jobs. We’re in a recession. A big one, with long-lasting repercussions. People have less money to spend, and thus are more choosy about where they spend it. Educated consumers have come to a consensus (you flatter Ms. Elias by putting this all on her, but there are many others who have voiced concerns about LFTB, even before she did, and many who will continue to do s0) and don’t want to spend their money this way. Am I a bad person for not being more sympathetic to the lost jobs? No. If they hadn’t happened in this industry, they would have happened somewhere else. I’m someone who’s been there, done that, and learned to not look for scapegoats but to simply dust myself off and carry on.

      • says

        As I mentioned elsewhere, I have worked for over 30 years in an industry which does not always enjoy a positive perception in the community. Recently, I found myself on the wrong side of a layoff notice, and I spent basically the next year finding a new job. Fortunately for me, I was able to find one with the same company I was being laid off from.

        There is no doubt in my mind that part of the ongoing image problems my industry faces is because of criticism from outside advocacy groups/advocates (including some at the highest levels of government.) However, I would not choose to “blame” them for my predicament, much as I “know”, as surely as some of the BPI/LFTB supporters who have posted here “know”, that some of the criticism is unwarranted and based on what I consider wrong information. This is just the way life goes in the business, and there are, as they say, no guarantees in life (other than it will eventually end.)

        Yes, I can certainly understand the distress those whose jobs are in jeopardy are going through. “Been there, done that.” But, truth be told, the reason for the problems BPI is experiencing is the result of decisions made by the USDA, at the request of the beef industry – just as the problems my industry experiences are the result of decisions made by the decision-makers in the industry, over a period of years.

        Trust is a fragile thing: once broken, it takes a long time to re-establish. This is something to keep in mind, the next time your company tells you that “the public doesn’t need to know” about things that affect them, especially if it is because “it’s just too complicated.”


        • Janet says

          EdT. The problem is that BPI did not tell anyone that the public didn’t need to know. They were very open about it. Most of the damage was done by people who are not familiar with cattle slaughter and processing.

          I find it interesting that those who know about such things understand it and agree with it. But those who live in “non-rural” areas, or aren’t familiar with this, have an issue.

          The ammonium hydroxide used is food grade (not the kind used in cleaning or fertilizing). And it is used in numerous products that people eat every day without worry. It has been used for over 40 years and has been found by the government and scientists as being safe.

          BPI only MAKES the LFTB and sells it to other companies. It is the other companies that include it in their ground beef. You are destroying a company for not labeling something that they do not sell or label in the first place. It’s like spanking one child for what another one did.

          • P Reis says

            “I find it interesting that those who know about such things understand it and agree with it. But those who live in “non-rural” areas, or aren’t familiar with this, have an issue.”

            What a thing to assume. I actually grew up in a very rural area. There were plenty of farms, and none were large-scale production farms trying to squeeze every dollar out of previously unusable “meat.” What was produced served the immediate area. I have drunk milk right out of the cow, nice and warm, and have watched a friend’s dad slaughter the rabbits we ate for dinner. And I was able to eat meat from very small local ranchers that tasted nothing like what grocery stores sell today — the stuff that is packed with LFTB. It is precisely BECAUSE I grew up in an area like this and had access to such good food that I prefer my food to come from as close to the source as possible.

          • Steve says

            Janet, USDA scientist declared over a decade ago that “pink slime” should be listed on ground beef labels. They stated that it would be FRAUD if it wasn’t listed. It was a bureaucrat that overrode science in order not to label it. That same bureaucrat went to work for the beef industry making over a million dollars.

            To get a further dose of reality, remind yourself who it was that gamed the system so pink slime did not have to be labeled as an ingredient. The recent damage done goes well beyond BPI. In my mind, the entire industrial beef industry is corrupt. I myself will never buy beef for my family again. Once burned, smart people learn fast. btw, I live in a dual zone residential/rural area and have several small farmers around me. Not one of them uses ammonia on their meat because their cows are grass fed. That is what cows are supposed to eat and thus, no chemicals are required and no fecal matter makes it’s way into their beef…

            What I am thinking, taken from the huffingtonpost…
            “Pink slime is the visible tip of an invisible iceberg. I know this from working in nutrition for 20 years. I know it, in particular, from work related to NuVal, which has required that over 100,000 foods — literally — come over the transom, with full ingredient lists on display. I had much better-than-average knowledge of the food supply before this, but looking at ingredients in 100,000 foods, I certainly have learned things I never knew I never knew!

            Pink slime tells us much about the character of a modern food supply comprising hundreds of thousands of packaged foods, and a whole industry devoted to additives. Pink slime has been “outed,” so you can get it out of your diet. But how many other variations on the theme of pink slime might there be? What IS that purple snot salad dressing, anyway? How many food components have yet to be outed, and thus are still finding their way into you — and your family — as a matter of routine? Food for thought.”


            • Trixie says

              First in order exress such a statement, you would have to have worked at a facility that manufactured LFTB, as Beef Products Inc. does, or have watched a video of the complete process on how LFTB is produced.

              In no way does the Food, Inc. video of there process remotely resemble not only the process Beef Products uses, nor does the facility show on the video remotely compare to that of Beef Products, Inc. plant.

              ‘The building/plant shown on this video is at best filthy. If you were to tour the Beef Products, Inc. plant where they process the LFTB, or even watch a video that shows the inside of the plant. I have had the great pleasure in having been given a tour of the entire plant. With that in mind, when I walked in I immediately felt as I were in a hospital and not a beef processing plant. Workers at the facility are in lab coats, and hair covers and clean the plant continuously. In the plant is a posipressure door, and behind that door is large room, with a large stainless machine that has one function, to clean the air.
              With that bein said, add to it the extensive testing for
              any pathogens.

              In addition to this, as has been stated in one form or another, is that after testing the product extensively once the product leaves the door it is no longer their responsibility. The company who buys LFTB from
              Beef Products, Inc. is responsible for that product from that point forward. The company which purchases the LFTB, is well informed as to the processing of the LFTB by Beef Products, Inc..With this in mind, the company that purchased the LFTB is the only company that knows the full extent of ingredients that are in the product prior to selling such product to markets for consumption. Beef Products, Inc. having tested their product for pathegons prior to it leaving the facility can rest assured that the product they have sold meats the USDA Standard, and they are not present nor do they take part in the process at the purchasers facility, so for them to label the product would be misleading, because they would only be able to label it as what it was when it was sold. Once the LFTB is sold, Beef Products, Inc. has no control over what the buyer additional adds into the ground beef before packaging it for sale to markets and people for consumption. It is the end user whom should be responsible not only to retest for pathegens of the end product, but at that time to label the product prior to it leaving their facility.

              I hope that I have have cleared up any confusion or misconception about Beef Products, Inc., LFTB, whom should be responsible for labelling the product, and who should do the final testing of the product to make sure that the product that leaves their facility is free of pathegens. In the product having left the plant at Beef Product, Inc. pathogen free, if any are found before selling their product, it would have occurred during the purchasing companies procession and facility cleanliness.

          • Trixie says


            I have to give you a standing ovation for the comment you made on labeling the labeling issue. You may not have been the first to have expressed this, but you were definitely the first that I have read. You are absolutely correct in what you say because labeling the product occurs when it is sold to markets for consumer purchase.

            The company that should be in the media light is the one that purchases the L.F.T.B. from Beef Products, Inc. as an extender for their ground beef, as they are fully aware of the process and use of a puff of ammonia hydroxide that Beef Products, Inc. utilizes when making L.F.T.B..

            Since the only product that leaves the Beef Products, Inc. door is that of 100% L.F.T.B. as approved by the U.S.D.A.. Once this product leaves the facility of Beef Products, Inc. they are not involved in the process the company purchasing it utilizes the product, or whether any other additive, product, or component are
            additional added .

            Beef Products, Inc. should NOT be in the lime light or be held responsible, or accountable in any way for the end product that is sold for consumer purchase, because again, they DO NOT produce or sell the end product to the market, or consumers.

            The only company that should be in the lime light, held responsible, and required to label the end product is the company which makes and sells the end product to the consumers, or to the market for purchase by the consumers, as they are the only company who is fully aware of all the products, additive, components, and processes utilized in making the end product.

            To summarize, Beef Products, Inc. has not hidden anything from anyone. The company selling the product for consumption should be the only ones held responsible for hiding the ingredients, or processes utilized in producing the end product.

            • Janet says


              THANK YOU!

              You seem to be the only one who is open minded enough to actually comprehend that fact. I’m not meaning to put anyone down, but they just don’t seem to be able to understand that one little piece of information! Look to all of those other facilities that put LFTB in their ground beef and ask them to do the labeling.

              • Brian B says

                BPI has had the LFTB label on ntheir product for quite sometime….even before all this came out….FYI

    • Nancy says

      Truth Seeker, you always seem to say the same thing. Are you working from a script given to you by the Beef Industry? If you think that harassing Bettina is somehow going to make Americans love the inferior filler, LFTB, you are wasting your time. Your behavior just showcases Beef Industry arrogance. And arrogance is what got your industry in trouble in the first place.

  7. KIM says

    thought you might be interested in this.

    Cargill: News Center – Cargill – Finely Textured Beef
    Finely textured beef is 100-percent lean beef, a safeand nutritious meat that families have been eating for decades. It is simply beef that has been separated from fat in a process similar to separating milk from cream.

    • Mary says

      @Kim. This may be of some interest:
      LFTB which as an extender is more likely than the main ingredient in ground beef to have pathogens. That is why every single box of LFTB that is shipped from BPI is tested for e coli and salmonella. And it is tested because BPI has been found in the past several times to have contaminated LFTB. And this is the product they want our school children to eat. Young children have not yet developed the natural defenses “antibodies” required to fend off the infection.

      • Janet says

        This is why they test every box. They want to make sure that contaminated meat does not go out of their facilities to other facilities. That also ensures that IF e.coli or some other pathogen is found in ground beef, that it is not from their facility.

    • P Reis says

      No, the process is not similar. Cream naturally separates from milk, all by itself, no mechanical doo-dads needed.

        • P Reis says

          I am sure this device can speed up what still remains a natural process, which will, in fact, occur on its own given enough time.

            • P Reis says

              Admittedly, this is not one of my more iron-clad arguments, because I was not factoring in that cream CAN be mechanically separated from milk. Nonetheless…you ARE aware that cream does separate naturally from milk if left alone to do so, right? Unlike LFTB, it does not *need* to be heated and centrifuged in order to be usable. There IS a substantial difference there.

              • Matt says

                @P Reis…you ARE aware that lean does separate from fat with no need to be heated or centrifuged. If you had about 1,000 people lined up on a conveyor belt skilled with a knife right? Far more efficient by means of centrifuge…similar to milk. At the end of the day, this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

            • says

              If you take whole milk which is not homogenized, and leave it in the refrigerator, you will notice that some white clumps separate and float to the top of the milk. This is the cream, which is naturally separating.

              While not a health risk, the result is considered unappetizing to many (myself included, as I drank this stuff for several years while living in Europe, where homogenized milk wasn’t as common as it is here in the US.)


    • George from UC says

      Cargill’s use of citric acid in its “Finely Textured Beef” completely contradicts BPI’s reasoning for using ammonia. In BPI’s own “Ammonia in Foods” video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fj81Ljx58s Dr. Dave Theno (Food Microbiologist, 3:20 to 3:40 min) states “Because E. coli grew up in an acid environment, a high pH is very effective and lethal against gram-negative bacteria” and they dramatize the ammonia molecule “crushing” E. coli bacteria at what appears to be pH 11.
      Citric acid is found in lemon juice and appears at pH 2 in that video, assuming “Pure Water” represents pH 7. By his reasoning, citric acid would be ineffective in controlling bacteria in LFTB. The two compounds are at opposite ends of the pH spectrum.

  8. Steve says

    Thank you!!! My god, what is it with bpi and its cronies that they do not understand. I would suggest they add to their spin control campaign, “Labeling fraud is fraud”, we’re guilty… along with “beef scraps is not beef”. I think the name pink slime is actually more glamorous than “amoniated de-fatted fat cells” from industrialized, diseased corn feed cows with hints of feces … So, the name pink slime is actually a gift when compared to what it actually contains.

  9. Steve says

    To Truth Seeker, you should be ashamed of yourself having that name but yet, seeking to hide the truth. The people who exposed this fraud are American gems; it is people like them who are our most treasured resources. You possess impaired, self serving motives. Companies such as bpi which are built upon labeling fraud, should not be in business. It might have been a “legal labeling fraud”, but fraud is fraud to the consumer.

  10. Steve says

    To Kevin,

    Amen brother, I agree 100%. I will never again trust the USDA nor the beef industry nor any products from the states involved in this consumer coverup (you know, the ones blaming the media, blaming consumers, blaming everyone but themselves). Just look at how they are handling it. THAT speaks volumes about their ethics, priorities, and political ties. The real congressional probe should be in how a single USDA employee went to work for the beef industry after allowing this frakenmeat into the food chain without labeling.

    Signed, I am pissed for life at beef !@#$%@#!

    • P Reis says

      This is great, thank you for sharing. We need more cattle rancher/butchers like this to bring up the quality of our meat supply — even if it means paying higher prices! Hear, hear. (Oh and we can also eat less…so much better for the body in the long run.)

      • Matt says

        This article is crud. This guy thinks he will make more money off the “slime” scare. That’s all.

  11. Trixie says

    There has been a lot of focus on the information in the 2009 NY Times article by Michael Moss, but no attention is on the article following that.
    Directly out of the NY Times editorial after the Michael Moss article:
    “An editorial on Sunday mischaracterized the safety record of ground meat produced by Beef Products Inc. The editorial said incorrectly that two 27,000-pound batches of processed beef had been recalled. The contamination of the meat was discovered by the company in its plant before the beef was shipped. No meat produced by Beef Products Inc. has been linked to any illnesses or outbreaks.”

    • Bettina Elias Siegel says

      Just to be clear, it was an editorial by the NY Times, not Michael Moss’s article which was corrected.

  12. Michelle Mason says

    hundreds of work for no reason. did you ever attempt to contact BPI. Sleep tight Bettina, because many others will be worrying about how they will care for the children. Pat yourself on the back. Again, for no reason. Did BPI not allow you in their facility? Did you attempt. Sleep tight Bettina, I would not want to be your pillow.I can see why you support Jamie Oliver. He is also a self promoter. Sleep tight Bettina…..many others won’t be.

  13. Trixie says

    Thanks Michelle for your comment. Soon there will be more people who realize that this smear campaign is not justified as the WSJ and many others have. There have been too many to jump on the train to make a quick buck or get their 10 minutes of fame.

    What WILL they do next when the train ride stops. It’s a shame that people take advantage of others and have no conscious or concern that the unfounded outcry was based on them not researching for themselves before reporting. The reason they haven’t stopped is because they are trying to soak every drop of water out of the sponge. What would they do if the public starts questioning their ignorance. I truly believe this in the back of their minds. The smart media, the trusteworthy journalists and bloggers have already realized that the people deserve the truth, and have found their pride not only in telling them, but in critiquing those who are bias, those who are insulting the intelligence of the people, and those who do not acknowledge that they were wrong by not stopping after reporters came out and publicly stated the facts reported by them were not correct. Still I ask myself why they aren’t capable of having the same moral values. I guess the money and game are more important than the truth, more important than honesty, more important than acting on the guilt they feel for their role in all of this nonsense.

  14. Trixie says

    Dear Bettina:
    I would say that that the two blogs you deleted came from me. Why I wonder? I believe they made you take a good look at your involvement of all this hype.

    As you stated to me that you quoted the article you based your petition on exactly as it was writen, I am doing the same. I rest comfortably knowing that I do my research before speaking or in this case blogging. I am not an avid blogger, actually I rarely do. I take pride in myself for not putting out false information. My knowledge of your campaign contributions come directly from Government sites that are of public record. If you would like, I will gladly not only give you the links, but send the records to you as well.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I do brlieve that you pulled the petition after getting some 258,000 signatures. If this is correct, I imagine it took place after the corrected article came out and that somewhere inside you there is a glimpse of a conscious.

    Best Regards,


    • Bettina Elias Siegel says


      You are correct that I have not posted your prior comments about my political contributions. I am happy to disclose to anyone who cares my support of various candidates over the years but they have no relevance to this discussion. The Obama administration has had absolutely no involvement in this issue except to the extent that Tom Vilsack, an Obama appointee, supports LFTB. (As does his wife, Christie Vilsack, Democratic Congressional candidate in Iowa.) So the fact that I contributed to Obama’s election campaign in 2008 is utterly irrelevant.

      As for closing the petition, I think what you’re implying is that I did so because the NYT corrected Michael Moss’s December 2009 story which was critical of BPI. But please check your facts before you make such an accusation. The NYT correction was made January 10, 2010 and it was not even a correction to Moss’s article, it was to an editorial about BPI published by the paper on January 9th of that year.

      I hope this clears up any confusion.

      Continued comments which attack me personally but which add nothing substantive to this debate will not be posted.

  15. Kevin says

    …’Blaming/Attacking-the-Messenger’ is the age old emotional response — where people indict others for truthfully communicating ‘bad news’ about a favored cause, person, organization… (or ‘commercial product’).

    ‘Shooting the Messenger’ {Ms Siegel, in Trixie’s apparent view} may be a time-honored tactical response to unwelcome news, but LFTB defenders have already {justly} lost the public-relations battle in the U.S. — and totally fail to see the much larger food-safety & consumer-rights issues at stake.

  16. Trixie says


    In my post I was in no way, shape, or form, blaming/attacking the messenger. Beef Products, Inc. does not sell the end product to the consumers, period.

    There is nothing in my post which remotely suggests that people, (I), “indict others for truthfully communicating bad news.” The news is what journalists, or column writers report, and they should make a conscious effort to research the subject of matter to be reported, so that they can truthfully report the news.

    In some cases, as stated, there have been reports, articles, or announcements made public by different media sources where proper research was not done prior to making it public record. Although it does not occur daily, it does happen, which can lead some to question the truth or validity of the subject of matter, or the source from which it came.

    I stand corrected, that I have recently made the mistake of quoting something which was incorrectly reported. This occurred because what I stated came from a reputable source. This having been said, it only reiterates how critical it is for anyone who puts information out to the public to research the matter themselves, or validate the data which they are reporting.

    If a non factual, or incorrect report is made public, there is a ripple effect that occurs, until such time wherein the public, or anyone who may have utilized that source are made aware of it being incorrect. As with a wave, the farther out the first ripple is created, the larger the wave it creates in the end.

    Should we trust what we read and hear from reporters, I say yes we should be able to make that assumption. Have recent reports changed my opinion on this, I regretfully say that they have.

    This and only this is the reason for which I advocate for anyone who is reporting to the public to do their own research, or validation of their sources information. Not only does it minimize the ripple effect from becoming so large it is nearly impossible to control, but the reporter is able to correct themselves the error in which others may have made.

    My comments were and are not directed or intended for any one specific individual, or source. I am merely pointing out what can occur if proper research has not been done prior to releasing information to the public.

    There are many unpleasant situations in this world of which we are limited, or unable to control. The situation in which I have commented on is one that can be controlled, or in the worst case we can minimize.

    Speaking in the first person, if I were to make a public report, I would thoroughly research it first so that I know that I was reporting it correctly, and in effect minimizing any damage that may or may already have occurred.

    I hope that I have cleared up any misconception(s) you may have had with regard to my intentions.

  17. says

    Dear Trixie,

    You may find this hard to believe but I haven’t watched the news* in over 20 years. Does that mean I’m not informed or knowledgeable about America’s “food” supply. So, where do I get my “facts”, information and knowledge if not from the nightly news?

    How could I have heard about the petition and why would I want to sign it? My husband was listening to a local talk show and, since I’m very, very interested in America’s food supply, he asked me if I’d heard about it. (Maybe it’s the stack of books next to the bed that focuses on diet and diseases in America.) Anyway, it took me less than eight clicks to find the petition and sign it.

    Over 11 years ago, I had breast cancer and (at that time) had no idea about America’s highly processed, fake, franken-food supply and how the Western diet could possibly be making America (and her children) not only fat but also sick. I used to take the bait: hook-line-and-sinker. I thought I needed a white lab coat, chemistry degree and scientific study to make my family of five an affordable, healthy, nutritious and delicious meal.

    *Stopped watching the news for a variety of reasons. In my humble opinion – in it’s worse form – the media is “junk food” for the mind. In it’s mediocre form – the media is lazy and feeds us infomericals and no news nonsense. In it’s best form: the media is the watch dog of democracy.

    Best health always…

  18. Trixe says


  19. Trixe says


  20. Bettina Elias Siegel says

    Trixie: In the last few days you have flooded TLT not with comments but with link after link after link to various pro-LFTB videos and websites. I have erred on the side of inclusion and allowed every one of these in. However, at a certain point this sort of “commenting” becomes a de facto hijacking of my blog. I will not accept any more posts of this sort. If you wish to set up your own website to house all of these links and then post a single link to that clearinghouse here, I’d be happy to accept it.

  21. Trixie says

    Trixie April 11, 2012 at 8:00 am
    Dear Bettina:

    My sincere apologies, as it was not my intention to flood your site.
    I respect your request, and in the future will keep my comments direct to the issue, taking extra care as to the content of which I post.


  22. John says

    This is very sad. You characterize this issue as one of pursuing “openness” and “choice”… but what you have really done is to imply that these food products are somehow unsafe – with absolutely no substantiation.

    Because of this smear attack, people are out of work, and many people who cannot afford it will feel the sting of higher prices.

    Of course, the people who can afford to shop at Whole Foods, or those who produce gourmet, “organic” beef products and other boutique food items for the well-off, will stand with you 100%.

    You may not like LFTB, but there was a reason it was around. It made beef more affordable, and nobody yet has EVER produced a scintilla of evidence that it is not safe to eat. But you and others have indulged in a campaign designed to make people afraid of it.
    You have succeeded.

  23. John W says

    Now Bloomberg is defending Pink Slime and accusing you of hurting BPI and it’s employees. Here’s my response to them:

    Dear Bloomberg:

    I’m outraged that you are not allowing webposts under this story. Your story on Pink Slime is slanted, starting with your desingation of pink slime’s inventor as a Food Innovator and failing to portray photographs of what Pink Slime really looks like. You also neglect that the former FDA person who permitted Pink Slime is now getting paid $1.2MM to sit on the board of BPI; I bet she’s not eating ground beef.

    It’s totally sick that you can’t put down your greed-colored glasses and engage in objective reporting that considers the ethical implications:

    YOUR BOTTOM LINE IS $$$; the true bottom line is that Pink Slime is an abomination of nature — it does not deserve to be called food or beef — and it’s safety is questionable.

    In the same issue of BloombergBusinessweek you portray that BestBuy is suffering from changes in consumer trends, preferences for Apple and whatnot. Can’t you see that BPI is suffering from a consumer awakening towards local, natural, organic, hand-crafted foods. Buying your beef from someone you know, and even finding out the animal nae — as opposed to every pound of slime coming from it came from dozens of anonymous creatures. The trend is spreading beyond beef to cheeses, produce, and even alcoholic beverages.

    An industry-funded study might indicate that pink slimeisn’t fatal–you won’t die overnight However, what about the autism, behavioral problems, rising obesity,rising cancer rates in the US that have coincided with the introduction andproliferation of pink slime?

    In Europe, food companies do not poison their fellow countrymenwith products of questionable safety. And public officials ban any substancewhose safety is questioned. Only here in the US, does industry and governmentexperiment on their own people–how unpatriotic.

    I hope Bettina Elisa Siegel continues her fight to stop our children from being unwittingly fed this substance. If people do not focus on this, they focus on something else, and pinkslime will insidiously make its way back into our food chain.

    It’s unfortunate that a couple thousand workers (probably mostly illegal aliens) maylose their jobs at pink slime factories, but there is much more at stake. As consumers switch to more eating ethically derived foods, the production of these is less capital-intensive and more labor-intensive, more jobs are created for Americans to work with their hands and nourish their communities.

    Furthermore IowaGovernor Terry Branstad’s resistance and calls for a Congressional inquiry are nothing more than trying to perpetuate a cover up –siding with special interests rather than what is right for the people. I hope Mrs. Elias Siegel petitions for a recall election.

    Pink Slime, another example of how the 1% is deceiving and profiting from taking the poor and middle classes, through unethical food and engagement with government. Poor reporting, poor judgment, looking out for the corrupt rather than fairness or your own people.

    • ssmith says

      Watch Food Inc & King Corn; they removed a lot of myths from my American mind.

      You’ll notice the beef industry propaganda NEVER states 9 out of 10 consumers prefer ammonia adulterated beef for their families diet. They only thing they keep repeating is; “It is safe and nutritious”, “Beef is beef”, and other silly things.

      The attitude seems to me to be, how dare you not want this thing we concocted.

      I have yet to see anyone state that their body prefers ammonia adulterated beef instead of 100% pure grass fed muscle based ground beef.

      I think, if the beef industry could stop feeding cows grain and stop crowding cows in feed lots. They could return to the natural methods of raising cattle and stop using antibiotics, grain, and ammonia. Both the cows and the populace would be far healthier. I wonder why they don’t.

      • Janet says

        If the beef industry returned to the “natural” methods of raising cattle, most of us probably would not be able to afford to feed our families beef very often.

        I’m not saying I like the antibiotics and growth hormones in my beef, because I do NOT. But we have a much greater population and fewer cattle producers, so our way of doing things has had to change.

        I have a bigger problem with what is in my hot dogs! Is that where the nose, ears, tail, and floor sweepings go?

  24. Bill J. says

    @John W: you said “However, what about the autism, behavioral problems, rising obesity,rising cancer rates in the US that have coincided with the introduction andproliferation of pink slime?” —this is one heck of an assumption to make.

    “As consumers switch to more eating ethically derived foods, the production of these is less capital-intensive and more labor-intensive, more jobs are created for Americans to work with their hands and nourish their communities.” —who’s going to be able to afford food this way? Who says anybody is “switching”?

    Just one question, where are you getting your “facts”?

  25. says

    I’ve been reading various articles about this controversy for the past hour or so, and I’ve yet to read any hard data telling me that this product is unsafe. Lets be honest: the reason it has become a firestorm is because the image looks gross and the term “pink slime” sounds gross. It feels manipulative in a negative way and reminds me of sleazy political tactics, although I think the motives of those pushing the story are honest.

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