Beef Products Inc., the inventors of the controversial pink slime beef product, have donated more than $500,000 to Republicans over the past decade, recent reports show, serving as the top agricultural supporters for several GOP gubernatorial campaigns, including Iowa governor Terry Branstad’s.
Pink slime has become a household name in recent weeks as several news reports documented its presence in ground beef sold in grocery stores across the country. Pink slime is produced by processing the byproducts of butchered animals. Meat scraps, previously too contaminated for sale, are put through a centrifuge, where the fat is removed, and then treated with ammonia gas, killing bacteria, and rendering the meat safe for consumption.
Pink slime is common filler used in ground beef across the country.
In light of recent news reports, many grocers are pulling meats that contain pink slime and consumers are vowing to boycott companies that sell it. Beef Products Inc. has criticized these moves as hysteria caused by media overreactions.
Governors who have financial ties to BPI are entering the fray, condemning stores that refuse to sell pink slime products and attacking the media for distorting their product. Spokespersons for Terry Branstad have released his official statement. “Governor Branstad will fight for every single job in this state, including those at BPI. These families are victims of a smear campaign full of distortion and lies.”
Food safety advocates, however, argue that pink slime products are significantly less safe than traditionally prepared ground beef. In addition, they have argued that the campaign contributions and the political influence wielded by BPI will only weaken food safety laws.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer