Let’s Put a Stop to “Pink Slime” on School Lunch Trays

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 6, 2012

Back in July, 2010 I wrote a post entitled “One Burger, Please, Extra Ammonia and Hold the E Coli” which described the now well-publicized beef product known as “pink slime.”  The substance, which looks like this,* is produced by Beef Products, Inc., a beef processing plant in South Dakota.  BPI injects a mixture of cooking oil and fatty beef trimmings (formerly used for pet food) with ammonia in an attempt to remove E. coli and salmonella.

There has been such a public outcry against “pink slime,” (in part due to a graphic demonstration by Jamie Oliver on his Food Revolution show last summer) that fast food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell have agreed to stop using it in their food.

When I wrote my post on pink slime in 2010, I cited a USDA press release and statements from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack which indicated (or so I thought) that pink slime would no longer be used in school food.  I wrote:

. . . .last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced tougher new standards for the ground beef that will be used in the National School Lunch Program, among other federal food programs.  . . . . Among the new standards are more stringent testing for E. coli and other bacteria as well as a planned review of the beef purchasing system by the National Academy of Sciences.

But according to the Daily, and widely reported elsewhere yesterday, another 7 million pounds of slime have been purchased by the federal government for use in school food.

The Daily quotes two former Food Safety Inspection Service microbiologists, Gerald Zirnstein and Carl Custer, who claim their finding that the substance is a “high risk product” was overruled by political interests:

. . . . the USDA ruled that Lean Beef Trimmings were safe. “The word in the office was that undersecretary JoAnn Smith pushed it through, and that was that,” Custer said.

Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, Smith had deep ties with the beef industry, serving as president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association.

“Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein said.

Putting aside one’s natural distaste for the product, what is most distressing to me is the fact that the ammonia treatment itself has been proven ineffective in eliminating pathogens.  The New York Times, in a thorough exposé of  BPI’s practices, reported in December, 2009:

. . . government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment. Since 2005, E. coli has been found 3 times and salmonella 48 times, including back-to-back incidents in August in which two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated. The meat was caught before reaching lunch-rooms trays.

In July, school lunch officials temporarily banned their hamburger makers from using meat from a Beef Products facility in Kansas because of salmonella — the third suspension in three years, records show. Yet the facility remained approved by the U.S.D.A. for other customers.

Presented by The Times with the school lunch test results, top department officials said they were not aware of what their colleagues in the lunch program had been finding for years.

Public outcry forced the nation’s largest fast food chains to stop the use of BPI’s slime in their food.  Only a similar outcry by parents can achieve the same result in the context of school food.   That’s why I’ve started my very first Change.org petition this morning — it asks Secretary Vilsack to get pink slime off of our kids’ lunch trays once and for all.

I hope you’ll take a moment to sign the petition and send it on to friends.  Thanks, all.

[Ed. Correction/Update:  This post was updated on 3/6 to remove an incorrect photo of "pink slime."  I'd originally linked to this photo which in fact depicts mechanically separated chicken, not the beef by-products described here.  Apologies for any confusion.  Please also check out this follow-up post which further clarifies USDA's purchase and also updates readers on the exciting progress of this petition.]

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy March 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

STOP Using Pink Slime in School Food!

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Phyllis April 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Pink slime has never been used in school food. Government inspected and approved hamburger with Lean Finely Textured Beef has been used. PERIOD.

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Mike March 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

This is such terrible journalism. Get your facts straight. That is not beef. It is mechanically separated chicken, and it is not soaked in ammonia.

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Bettina Elias Siegel March 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Mike and Jennie Van Heult – I think you’re correct and apologize for the error in photo selection. I think this is the correct depiction of pink slime (though you have to admit my photo is more evocative of “slime!”) Once I confirm, I’ll fix on the petition.

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Phyllis April 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Bettina, whether or not the picture is the correct depiction of pink slime is unimportant. What IS important is that you used the phrase, incorrectly, for Lean Finely Textured Beef, and the news and social media jumped on the bandwagon, without learning the FACTS. Please go to http://www.beefisbeef.com to learn the truth.

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Lisa Leake March 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Mike – Thanks for sharing your feedback with the group, but I have to point out that while your comment may be valid it completely overlooks the key point of this article. I am pretty sure no one here cares exactly what “connective tissue and tainted beef scraps that’s been doused in ammonia to kill E. coli and salmonella” looks like…but more importantly we are all concerned about the fact that the government is feeding this crap to our kids. Let’s try to work together and focus our efforts on the more important issue at hand.

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Bettina Elias Siegel March 7, 2012 at 8:41 am

Thanks, Lisa, for that support. I do regret the error and hope the inaccuracy doesn’t in any way undermine the petition but the truth is, the appearance of this horrific product in its raw state is irrelevant to the fact that it should not be served to our children (or to anyone, for that matter.) Meanwhile, here’s my post today correcting the error. And the incorrect photo was taken down from the petition itself yesterday, as soon as I realized my mistake.

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Phyllis May 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Bettina “yesterday” was a day too late.

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Phyllis April 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Lisa, again, it is NOT crap – it is lean finely textured beef from beef trimmings.

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Jennie Van Heuit March 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm

That’s the wrong picture. While I am TOTALLY with you on Pink Slime a.k.a. “Beef Lean Trimmings,” that picture is of chicken ground up, bones and all, to make chicken nuggets.

I don’t know what Pink Slime looks like, but that isn’t it.

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Gems March 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Thanks for this….we all need to be aware of the junk our kids get…and this is served as food!!!

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Phyllis April 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Gems, don’t forget the potato chips, cookies, candy bards, gum that you (probably) buy for your kids as after-school treats, too – THAT is the definition of junk food. LFTB is nutritious (93-97% lean protein).

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Gems March 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Oops wrong link :)
Katy

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Susan coyne March 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Keep up the good work. I’m so disappointed in our system.

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Katie March 9, 2012 at 1:39 am

If my baby has to start eating this crap at school i assure you, he will be carrying a lunch! Do they really not care about these children and what goes in their bodies? How cold and disconnected from humanity can you be to sleep at night knowing you are poising these babies???

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Kristen March 27, 2012 at 7:52 am

Katie – you’ve been eating this same stuff for 30 years….your “baby” will be just fine.

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Phyllis April 18, 2012 at 6:30 am

Katie, YOU have been eating this for YEARS – BPI has been in the business of making Lean Finely Textured Beef for over 20 years – FDA/USDA approved, 100% BEEF and customers have been buying it, confidently, for the same amount of time. Get your facts straight, please, it’s not “crap” – go to http://www.beefisbeef.com to learn what it really is.

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Bettina Elias Siegel April 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Phyllis: That’s misleading. The product with which I took issue, using ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens, has only been around since USDA approved the AH process in 2002. And the safety record of the company since then has not been unblemished.

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Phyllis April 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

That’s just it, Bettina – since 1974, the FDA declared the use of ammonium hyrdroxide as Generally Recognized as Safe (the highest safety attribution the agency assigns to compounds), in making foods safe, (hence, my reference to “over 20 years”) . What happens is: Boneless lean beef trimmings receive a puff of ammonia to eliminate bacteria safely and effectively. When combined with moisture naturally in beef, ammonium hydroxide is formed, which is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods, in our own bodies and the environment. Food safety experts and scientists agree it is an effective way to ensure safer ground beef.

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Jean March 9, 2012 at 7:07 am
wayne Russell March 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

NO ONE has explained why legal action was not taken against the ex-Undersecretary of USDA who took the position with BPI. All I hear is Now it IS illegal. I have NOT seen any explanation for this. Could someone please contact me about this. Thank You
Wayne

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Don March 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Its funny how people can think that if you make it sound gross it must be bad.
Pink slime
Why is it pink because it is meat
why is it slime because it has a lot of fat in it

Do you know that the stuff Beef Products uses is the same as what ground beef is made from the difference is how much fat is in it before it is processed. Regular ground beef is made from trimmings that are 70% and higher lean beef and 30% and lower fat. Its just the opposite for Need products. They use trimmings that are 70% fat. But why? In the past it wasn’t useful to sell 30% lean ground beef who would buy that. Beef Products figured out how to remove the fat and end up with a 90%+ lean beef.

Ammonia is already in the beef along with pretty much everything else. So by increasing the mount of ammonia by a pretty small amount they are able to raise the pH to a point that kills pathogens.

Also Beef Products does what most meat producers don’t. They test and only sell their product after it has been tested negative for things like e-coli.

Its always bad when people blindly follow an agenda with researching facts first.

If you would, you would see that this is nothing more then lean beef and not some second hand scraps full of connective tissue and pathogens.

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EdT. March 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Regular ground beef is made from trimmings that are 70% and higher lean beef and 30% and lower fat.

Or, you can just ask the butcher to grind up whatever cut of meat you want, right there on the spot. In which case, it isn’t washed in household cleaning chemicals. Nor does it contain connective tissue (unless that is what you asked for.)

~EdT.

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Don March 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm
Bettina Elias Siegel March 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Saw this – thanks for sharing.

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Phyllis April 24, 2012 at 6:08 am

EdT, neither is BPI’s LFTB (washed in household cleaning chemicals). It’s treated with enough ammonium hydroxide (not household ammonia) to raise the pH levels in the meat to kill bacteria (such as e-coli) to make mass-produced hamburger safe to eat. Butcher-processed hamburger has a shelf-life of around 2 days (got that info from a butcher at Safeway) because of the possiblity of bacterial contamination.

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Phyllis April 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

THANK YOU, DON!

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Brent March 14, 2012 at 8:21 am

Please consider seeing all the facts before condemning school meals. The Agricultural Marketing Service does the testing on all beef that is being considered for purchase by the School lunch program. With that said, they have found over 36 cases of salmonella every 1000 batches tested, that the National School lunch Program and the National Breakfast Program did not purchase 1 lb of ground beef for the schools this SY. This was the case also since 2008 when BPI was still using the method in question and seeing if they could lower ammonia gas level so as to eliminate the ammonia smell, once they did that the alkalinity of the product was lowered and hence the cases of salmonella increased, hence the NSLP did not purchase.

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Bettina Elias Siegel March 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

Brent: Wasn’t sure if this was directed at me — I can barely keep up with everyone’s comments and when I see them from “my side” of the blog I can’t always tell who is responding to whom. But as for me, I certainly am not condemning school meals. I know that AMS tests all the beef and thank goodness it does, because it was precisely that testing which potentially saved many kids from 2005-09 from eating contaminated BPI product. My question is why — beyond profit motives — are we letting this product (which has such pathogenic origins) into the food supply in the first place?

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John Kellermeier March 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm
Phyllis May 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Thank you, John! They were very informative, unbiased and factual (not like the biased commentary by OTHER sources (you know who you are).)

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Nicole Black April 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Is it really about the labeling? What are we going to label BEEF, that it is BEEF?! You have taken the information from uneducated individuals, such as Jamie Oliver, which let me remind you has exposed many of his customers to E.coli, and have discontinuedthe use of a product that does not contain “p*** s****,” and is actually leaner and safer for human consumption. In the process of buying into falsified information you have also cost thousands of people their jobs, including some of the parents of the children who you are doing this all for?? When the concern is about what our schoolchildren consume, the fact is also that obesity is on the rise. So why are choices being made to take away a product that is leaner, and feed them meat that is not?? I urge you to look into your information more and stop using the term ps! There is no such thing!

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Matt April 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

It is a shame about the 700 people who lost their jobs over these articles, now go feed your kids hot dogs and let them drink soda.

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Che April 23, 2012 at 11:16 pm

It is a shame. Human has ALWAYS practice head-to-tail eating of the whole animal. “Italian head cheese” is a sausage made using pig head, offal is totally eatable. Cooking is about maximizing every ingredients. A piece of meat is simply protein, fat and water. What’s wrong with pink slim? It is still beef. What’s wrong with ammonia? If we eat offal, there is ammonia in kidneys. It is all NATURAL! By maximizing the whole animal eating, we will be able to feed more hungry kids and make our planet greener! B12 is only available in animal meat and without it, kids are vulnerable to anemia. How many more beefs do we need to raise if everyone just eat steaks. It is totally a shame this kind of articles.

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Mike April 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

You should be ashamed of yourself for this nonsense. A lot of good people in Nebraska and Iowa lost good jobs because of your opinion (which insane in and of itself).

Typical Texas people…

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Phyllis April 27, 2012 at 6:14 am

Mike – THANK YOU! – and don’t forget, TEXAS – there’s a BPI facility in Amarillo TEXAS, too. OH and KANSAS – there’s one in Garden City KS The plants in Amarillo, TX Waterloo, IA, and Garden City, KS are temporarily (hopefully) shut down, due to the loss of customers due to this SCARE. The plant in South Sioux City, NE (the one the governers and other politicians toured) is is operating – at reduced capacity.

CUSTOMERS ARE COMING BACK!!

Bettina – Who are YOU to question the safety of ammonium hyrdroxide as a bacteria-killer in foods? If you’d have done your research, you would have found that this process has been approved by the government and the use of it doesn’t make what it’s applied to anything other than what it IS – beef is beef, cheese is cheese, buns is buns, pudding is pudding…..

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Phyllis May 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: … a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16; 19

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Phyllis May 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Bettina – LOOK WHAT YOU (and “that” chef and “that” News agency) HELPED TO DO: http://www.kcautv.com/story/18167718/bpi-will-shut-down-3-plants-on-may-25th-south-sioux-to-remain-open

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Phyllis May 9, 2012 at 5:54 am

Bettina, just wanted to let you know that, thanks ENTIRELY to you and your petition to take pink slime (YOUR WORDS) outta school lunches, I now dread going to work – thinking “this may be my last day of work at BPI”, a company I’ve beem proud to work for for the past 10 years; a company that has taken recycling to the utmost heights (recycling lean beef trimmings to separate out the fat and reuse the remaining protein as a suppliment to other processed meats (such as hamburger, sausage, etc) and which customers, such as McDonald’s, had WILLINGLY purchased in order to stretch their purchase dollars to give us consumers more value for our buck. Not too smart, are you? :(

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Bettina Elias Siegel May 9, 2012 at 7:47 am

Phyllis: If you do lose your job at BPI, I am profoundly sorry. No one, not even the most staunch supporter of my position on LFTB, wants to see anyone lose their job. But the last few weeks seemed to demonstrate that the security of your job and the jobs of everyone else at BPI was predicated on the public not knowing about the product you sell, not knowing how it is made, and not knowing that it was in the vast majority of the ground beef sold in this country, up to 15%. That strategy of nondisclosure clearly put all of your jobs at risk, because once the information was made widely available by the media, consumers unequivocally voted against it. That doesn’t make the real, human costs of this controversy any less tragic, however. I also want to thank you for keeping a civil tone throughout these last few weeks as you shared your views, something that might have been difficult given your connection to the company and your passion about the product.

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Phyllis May 10, 2012 at 6:23 am

Bettina, apology accepted. I agree with your petition in principle – that we should know what is in our food – but, your use of the term “pink slime” in your petition was uncivilized and uncalled-for. And to say that “once the information was made widely available by the media, consumers unequivocally voted against it” isn’t quite right. OUR customers knew the process and purchased our product because it helped to lower the cost of their hamburger and lowered the risk of bacterial infection, and then sold it to THEIR customers (us, the consumer). I still say BEEF IS BEEF, always was, always will be.

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Mike May 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I can’t believe what I just read… I never write on these blogs but i haven’t ever read anything as stupid and uninforming as this!

Are you completely morbid or just uneducated? Pink Slime? Why not call it by its real name rather than to make your uninformed story sound more sensational? The product is called LFTB (lean finely textured beef). You are completely right, the product was used as pet food but why wasn’t your next sentence, until they found the safe way to use it for human consumption?

Here are some facts to all of the people who may want to follow this Bettina’s Seigels pettition. 1. The USDA assures us that it is safe to eat. 2.is a beef-based food additive that may be added to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as an inexpensive filler. 3. Prior to the invention of the disinfection process, beef scraps could only be sold as pet food or as an ingredient for cooking oil. (wow, thats not she what she wrote?!) Thats right cooking oil!!! We have been using that for a while. I told my grandmother she almost killed me! 4. On March 25, 2012, BPI announced it would suspend operations at three of its four plants.[10][50] The three plants produced a total of about 900,000 pounds of the product per day. (Think of all the kids who’s parents are now stuggling to put food on the table because of Bettina and she wants to save the school lunch program food, you must have a heart!!!) 5.The additive was approved for human consumption by the USDA in the early 1990s. (The term “pink slime” was coined in 2002 by Dr. Zirnstein in an internal email.) (Now Bettina uses it to sound more sensational) 6. No deaths or sicknesses have been reported caused by LFTB. 7. LFTB is 90-95% lean beef. (Amazing!!!)
I will have my website up along with many others demonstrating how completely and utterly false Bettina’s story is. How she has been a part of costing jobs to thousands of people, increased the price of beef, and for what? No one has been hurt by a product she says is dangerous or unsafe. Here is a quote from the USDA, “In 2007, the USDA determined the disinfection process was so effective that it would be exempt from “routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public.
In a statement on March 22, 2012, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety Elisabeth A. Hagen stated that “The process used to produce LFTB is safe and has been used for a very long time. And adding LFTB to ground beef does not make that ground beef any less safe to consume. (JoAnne smith was on to something!!! Apparently she was right!!!)
Listen to this, some of our representatives have had the original thought to check into Bettina’s accusations; Following the suspension of operations at the plants, members of the media and leaders were invited to tour the facilities by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican.[15] The founders of BPI gave campaign contributions to Branstad in 2010,[15] and to other Republican candidates’ campaigns.[54] Texas Governor Rick Perry, Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, and South Dakota Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels, all Republicans from meat-producing states, toured the South Sioux City, Nebraska plant in an attempt to allay what they called “inaccurate information” that they claimed as having caused “an unnecessary panic among consumers. I completely agree. I say continue serving LFTB and serve it in all of the school lunches around the world!
It is safe to eat and keeps the cost down for families that can afford a decent meal. (unfortunately not to all the ones that lost thier jobs because of Bettina) I think Mark Graban says it best when he wrote, “This whole episode isn’t a great example of scientific problem solving on a societal level. It’s more a matter of hysteria. Is pink slime appetizing? Not really. But neither are chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and other products that I personally try to avoid.”

After all this, if I thought like Bettina, I would have to get rid of clothes, my kids, my house, my car, and probably the sun. All these things create some sort issue. I do realize though, I would probably keep the LFTB, because it is safe to eat!!!!

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Phyllis May 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

MIKE – WELL PUT, THANK YOU!

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Phyllis May 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Mike, the only thing I disagree with is your use of the term “filler” to describe what LFTB is. It would be more correct to call it, perhaps, an additive or a supplement to the processed food it is added to. Words severely injured a company, words are all we have to communicate with (unless we see each other face to face!).

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Mike June 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

Phyllis,

I didn’t use the term filler to describe LFTB in its entirety. Here is what I wrote. 2.is a beef-based food additive that may be added to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as an inexpensive filler. That is exactly what LFTB is.

I believe that Bettina has a point in which ingredients should be on any CN label or ingredient statement. BUT… If you are talking about a beef product that has LFTB and you put beef on the label you are 100% in the right.

Let me ask you this Bettina? Do you have kids that eat lunch at school? Do you grow your own food? Did you eat the lunch program at school?

If you think that processing billions of pounds of food for millions of people is going to be completly safe, your completely out of your mind. Everyone takes a chance when they consume anything. You need to wake up and work on a different issue. Perhaps you could work on this… How can you help the lives of the 1,000′s of people that were displaced, lost thier jobs, don’t know how they are going to pay for thier kids future.. All because you couldn’t really research a product? How more people were hurt because of you than the use of this product. Oh, by the way…. the people hurt by using the product is 0.

I don’t work for BPI and never have. I just can’t seem to rationalize the thought process of people that act before they think. I just can’t imagine one day that my own job would be cut because one person’s voice was heard spuing inacurate information on a product which creates wide spread panic or hysteria for no reason other than it being unapealing. I believe that same thought process was used in Germany by one person back in the 30-40′s.

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Chris June 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I hope some day you will be brought to court for you blaitent lies on your blog ruining lives and a good company. You have admited pictures used earlier in your original patetion were not even LFTB so why should anyone believe you now? You are always preeching the meat industry was misleading consumers, well im sorry but it seems you are the misleading one?

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Jennifer July 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am a mother of two with a third on the way. As impotant as the cost of food is the quality of the food is much more important. I am not a scientist nor a doctor, but I am faced with the task of making food choices for my family. There were many posts that were far more worried about the loss of jobs then they were about the prouduct itself . Just because the USDA has approved it dosen’t mean it is safe. If you beleive everything that you are told you’re stupid! I am not going to take a stand on LFTB aka PS because I don’t have enough fact nor does anyone that has posted on this page. What we need is independent studies done by people that have no loss or gain by the out come then maybe the consumers will have the truth. As for Miss Phyllis, I mean you no dissrespect however to so loosly quote our LORDS word Proverbs 6: 16;19 is something you will face on your judment day. If you really look at the things you are saying you are guilty of the same thing you are accusing Miss Bettina of. You have no info other than the USDA’s to back up your own argument. If and when there are independent studies performed by study groups w ith no personal intrests that represent the facts, until then you are also a liar. As a mother I will contiue to try to give my family the best food to eat! The last thing I will give my kids would be one more additive, supplement or filler. What the USA and world needs is less processed food. There were alot of people talking about nuggets and other processed foods you are right they are all bad!!! However highly processed beef falls in same catagorey!!! I hope one day that whole foods, all natural meats free of antibiotics and all organic prouduct are more readily available to the public. At a good price, right now the difference in price between organic vs processed food is huge. It is sad days in world history that we sacrifice the health of our children and self for a couple of dollars. I am deeply sorry for the families that have lost jobs, maybe you and the rest of the world needs to try to find work in the organic mark. GOD BLESS ALL OF US (we sure need it)

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Phyllis September 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Hi, Jennifer, I just heard about this on national news; and looked it up on the internet. It’s in regards to a scientific study regarding organic and non-organic foods. Pretty interesting, I thought; and I wanted to share it with you.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-organic-foodbre8820m9-20120903,0,1391113.story

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Phyllis July 31, 2012 at 7:30 am

Jennifer; I did not quote Proverbs “loosely”. (Speaking of lies – the Jamie Oliver clip showing BPI’s process as being scraps of rancid meat doused with a mixture of household ammonia and water WAS A LIE. What about THAT?)
I no longer work for BPI. And, I wouldn’t have worked for them if I’d have thought their product was unsafe or unhealthy.
There are independent studies to show that ammonia-treated products cut down on health risks, such as ecoli. “FDA affirmed ammonium hydroxide as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) in 1974 after extensive review of the scientific literature and a rulemaking process. Ammonium hydroxide was one of 235 substances that were subjected to a full safety review by the Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS), an independent committee of the Federation of American
Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) that reported its findings to FDA. The SCOGS report to FDA concluded
that: Ammonia and the ammonium ion are integral components of normal metabolic processes and play an essential role
in the physiology of man…. the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information
on…. ammonium hydroxide….. that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public
when [it is] used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future.” Select Committee
on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Review, Report No. 34, 1974.” This is the website: http://www.gvsd.org/cms/lib02/PA01001045/Centricity/Domain/18/Questions%20and%20Answers%20about%20Ammonium%20Hydroxide%20use%20in%20Food%20Production.pdf

There are plenty of other studies, I “googled” the phrase: “independent study regarding lowering health risks when using ammonium hydroxide in food processing” and came up with about 27,700 results. Please check them out before calling me a liar. We are ALL gonna be subject to judgement day….

Organic food is not cheaper. I LOVED your comment “maybe you and the rest of the world needs to try to find work in the organic mark” … How naive that was…

GOD HAS BLESSED US – with knowledge, technology, and LIFE. I pray that no lives nor jobs will be lost because of irresponsible reporting, which is how this whole thing started (In my opinion.) which is why I quoted Proverbs.

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Jennifer July 31, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I haven’t seen the Jamie Oliver clip your talking about. The studie in 1974 you spoke of is way out of date. If you had 27’000 results why would you choose to quote a studie that is outdated. In the last 40 years there have been many siecntific break throughs. There is tons of chemicals and medications frist deemed safe now know to cause cancer or other harmfull side efects. I’m not saying LFTB causes cancer or any other problems. I’m saying I will not serve LFTB product or similar products with similar processes in my house hold. Untill there are updated studies proving them safe according to current safety standards. The only voice that I really have is how I spend my money. If a company has practices I don’t agree with or don’t like I won’t buy that product. I also want to make clear that organic food is much more costly then processed foods. Anyone can buy twice the amount of highly processed food then organic for the same amount of money and that is part of the problem. Whole food and organic food markets are grossly over charging for their products. As organic foods become more main stream it will also become less costly. Also I was merlly try to make the point that our body would funtion better with less problems if we consume more all natural fruit veggies meat and dairy free of additives, pesticides, chemicals or antibiotics. As for school lunchs my five year old is starting school in a few weeks and I will be packing his lunch untill I get answers from our school district food programs. Hopefully our district is one of the many that don’t use this product. If they do thats okay I have made his lunch for the first five years I can make his lunch for the next 12 years of school. I can only speak for myself , my kids are the most important part of my life and I will not posion their bodys. I also want to make clear that I will coutinue to teach my kids how to grow fresh fruits and veggies. As well as discourage them from eating highly processed foods.

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Phyllis August 1, 2012 at 7:46 am

The 1974 study I quoted indicated the process was Generally Recognized As Safe. I don’t see how THAT can be considered outdated.. Congrats on your 5-year-old’s first days of school! LFTB has been in foods for over 20 years; I’m sure you’ve eaten hamburgers from fast-food restaurants, yes? Have you gotten ill because of it? Unless our salaries rise, none of us will be able to afford food, organic or not. As far as the cost of organic foods going down, once it becomes more available; there you go with the naitivite, again; the law of supply and demand says otherwise (high demand = no lower prices).

Back to your comment about outdated studies; I for one will keep watching for new studies and the results of taking LFTB outta the manufacturing process: 1) to see if it results in higher priced meat and 2) to see if there’s a rise in ecoli-related illnesses/deaths. (I’ll bet ABC won’t report on THAT!)

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Phyllis August 9, 2012 at 8:01 am

This is what a 3rd party person (someone not involved with BPI) commented when I shared with them your comments: (Vanessa) “I work at that third party food testing lab and can attest that BPI sets the standards. They were doing e.coli STEC testing for the past year (at least) and just recently the USDA made that regulatory on beef trim. It is sad to see a company who is a leader in food safety get slammed like that based on lies.”

And Patricia wrote: “Wow indeed. How about third party food testing labs that test LFTB? I cannot understand the ignorance of people and that woman who commented to you about “judgement” has GOT to be kidding. LFTB is a product whose owners contract for more testing than is even warranted by the USDA to PROVE their product is safe and nutritious. I don’t think God will smite a company with a stellar food safety record – just saying.”

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Jennifer August 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

You don’t seem to get it. Just because this product has been used for 20 years or I have eaten it myself doesn’t mean I or anyone else should continue. I have never once in my comments took a position against LFTB except to say I will not buy it or other products that have similar processes. Highly processed food are not good for our body they lack key nutrient’s and have additives. You have on more then one occasion called me naive or other choice words, again you need to look in the mirror. You seem to take any opinion other than your own as less valued and un-educated. I haven’t spend countless hours recearching LFTB nor will I. However I have devoted most of my free time into nutrition and the human body. The way that our body converts food into energy is amazing. I have never seen a nutrition chart that had additives, pesticides, ammonia, or antibiotics on it nor will I. Thats why I won’t buy those items or eat those items. As far as my statement about judgement day you need to get it straight. We will all stand there one day thats not in question. I said that because you were trying to attack Bettina using the word of god not for his purpose according to his word but for your own agenda. It has been made quite clear in his word that the person without sin should throw the frist stone. You are not Jesus so you have no right to throw that frist stone which you did by quoting proverbs in a hatefull way for your own purpose. It was not your place to judge her that is GODS place only. We are in America I will feed my children and loved ones what I want. You are free to do the same. You might try thinking out side the box.

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Phyllis August 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

Naive (with naitivite) are the words I used to describe your opinion (no other choice words…) I did not quote Proverbs in a hateful way; it was instructional. I understand Bettina is a lawyer; words, therefore, are her tools. Choosing to use words like “pink slime” in a government petition were, in my opinion, lies (and the phrase “pink slime” IS hateful (also my opinion). Had she used the phrase “Lean Finely Textured Beef” in her petition; I would have been in agreement with her petition. As I stated in another comment, I agreed with her petition in principle (I understood it to be that we should know what’s in our kids’ food at school), just not in her choice of the phrase “pink slime”. As far as ammonia in our foods; it’s NOT household ammonia that is used in any food manufacturing process; it’s a chemical called ammonium hydroxide (which, I guess, from what I’ve read is found naturally occuring in lots of things, including human beings). The issue of not labeling BPI’s product when incorporated into other products is false, too. BPI does label its product when it leaves the production facility after being sold to other suppliers; the othe suppliers are the ones who do not include “it” as an ingredient; after all, beef IS beef. I said I thought you were naive because I understood you to feel that if we would all go back, basically, to not mass-producing our food, we’d all be better off. In principle, I agree; but in reality, this will never happen. I don’t know about you, but when I buy stuff from the store, I expect it to be safe and healthy for me, whatever is in it. I don’t have the time nor the expertise to grow my own food, anyway. And yes, we are in America and feed ourselves, our children and our loved ones what we want. I think recycling beef trimmings to get the most protein off the excess and reuse it in other meat products (which is what BPI does/did) IS thinking outside the box.

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Jennifer August 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

There dosen’t seem to be a point of even discussing this with you anymore. I see now why Bettina stoped messaging with you along time ago. So you enjoy your LFTB and I’ll enjoy FRESH CUT BEEF free of antibiotics.

PS It is very simple to grow fruit and veggies even in very small spaces! You can goggle that too.

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Phyllis September 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Well, Jennifer, AGAIN, that’s a naive statement you made “It is very simple to grow fruit and veggies even in very small spaces!” It would not be very simple for me to grow fruits and veggies, because I live on the third floor of my apartment building and face north; and growing food on the apartment lawn is not allowed. And, as I stated earlier, I work for a living and therefore don’t have time to tend a garden, anyway.

PS Bettina is still allowing my comments to be posted; so I’m not sure why you said she stopped messaging with me a long time ago?????

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Jennifer September 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

I too work for a living! I work a full time job oppisite my husbands work schedule, have three and five year old boys to take care of ontop of that I have a new baby on the way. People make time in their life for whats most important to them. You can make any excuses to make yourself feel better but the truth is if you wanted to have time you could. May 9th was the last time Bettina made a reply to your comments. I can only speak for myself but she probably found it was pointless to communicate with you. I truly feel bad for anyone reading your writings. It is a small minded person that keeps focussing on the problem and not trying to move forward on a solution. Its a wise man that knows he don’t know everything. You like to call me naive which is funny because you are a fool for thinking you know it all :) This is the last post I will make and I’m blocking all future message from this page.

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Phyllis September 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Jennifer, I never claimed to know it all…. I only claim to know that “pink slime” was not accurate. Not having time to plant, cultivate and harvest produce is not an excuse for me not to do it – it’s a fact of MY life. If my wanting the facts regarding the Lean Finely Textured Beef to be brought out makes me small-minded, then, I accept that label. Too bad you don’t want to discuss this any further; I “liked” our debate! :) Good luck and God bless you, Jennifer, in all you do – you seem to be a very energetic person and I admire you for that, immensely!

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