'Pink slime' manufacturer sues ABC News for $1.2 billion in damages
September 13th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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Beef Products Inc. announced Thursday that the company has filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC News, three reporters (Diane Sawyer, Jim Avila and David Kerley) and others, claiming damages as a result of their reports on BPI's lean finely textured beef product (LFTB) more colloquially known as "pink slime."

"There has to be some consequences for news organizations to be more truthful," stated Beef Products Inc. founder Eldon Roth in a video extolling the virtues of the product and outlining the company's case against the news outlet. "They hurt real people, and a lot of people."

ABC News was just one of many media outlets reporting on the controversial product earlier this year, but BPI has focused in on the media giant for what it calls a "concerted disinformation campaign" against LFTB.

Dan Webb, the company's lawyer, wrote in a public statement, “Through nearly 200 false, misleading and defamatory statements, repeated continuously during a month-long disinformation campaign, ABC and other individuals knowingly misled consumers into believing that LFTB was not beef and not safe for public consumption, which is completely false.”

The company will be asking a jury to award BPI more than $1 billion in compensatory and statutory damages, plus punitive damages for "defamation, product and food disparagement, and tortious interference with business relationships."

Webb stated today in a phone call with reporters that, "The evidence is overwhelming that our product is 100% beef."

BPI makes the product by grinding together beef scraps and connective tissue. The company then uses a mixture of ammonia and water (ammonium hydroxide) to prevent the risk of E. coli or salmonella contamination.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) both consider ammonium hydroxide as GRAS (an acronym for "generally recognized as safe"), McDonald’s has since announced that it discontinued the use of, what the corporation calls, select beef trimmings (SLBT). The fast food chain came under fire after the episode for using the filler in its hamburger patties.

"For a number of years prior to 2011, to assist with supply, McDonald’s USA used some lean beef trimmings treated with ammonia in our burgers. We were among other food retailers who used this safe product," the fast food chain released in a statement.

"At the beginning of last year, we made a decision to stop using this ingredient. It has been out of the McDonald’s USA supply chain since last August."

Taco Bell and Burger King have reportedly also discontinued use of BPI's product. Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion supermarkets also discontinued the product. In March, a blogger named Bettina Seigel started a Change.org petition asking USDA to stop the use of LFTB in ground beef destined for school food. As a result, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that starting in the fall of 2012 it would offer school districts a choice of beef either with LFTB or without the filler.

Sales declined from approximately five million pounds of LFTB per week to less than two million pounds per week, three BPI facilities closed and more than 700 employees lost their jobs, according to a company statement.

Food safety attorney Bill Marler, who has been asked to represent two former FSIS public employees named in the suit, explained in an e-mail, "I just do not get the liability. I just do not see it. The lawsuit is without merit."

Marler explained his understanding of the timeline, saying "The words 'pink slime' came from an internal email between inspectors at FSIS commenting on the product. Another inspector called it 'Soylent Pink' – which I thought was even better. These documents came out during litigation I had with Cargill in 2009, which the New York Times used in part to get a Pulitzer."

"Then almost three years later The Daily writes a story that some chains had quietly stopped using LFTB, then a mom blogger puts up a petition asking that it be taken out of the school lunch program and ABC picks it up from there," Marler continued.

Jeffrey Schneider, Senior Vice President of ABC News said in a statement, "The lawsuit is without merit...We will contest it vigorously."

Previously - Clarified – Much a goo about 'pink slime'

soundoff (1,766 Responses)
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  6. JP

    If it tastes fine and it's made from regular beef, I don't see any problem with it.

    January 4, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  7. whitney

    Shocking to see how many shill posts there are here by what looks like one person who has a clear vested interest in making this company look good, attacking anyone who doesn't want to eat unknown beef "product".

    I don't want to eat pink slime, and I could care less what some random guy on the internet hired by this company has to say about it. FOAD

    September 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  8. KP

    People – become Vegan and eat food what man ought eat to live. Do not eat and feed your children with animal waste parts mixed with some toilet cleaning chemical.
    Good job ABC News for exposing the truth. The company that makes "food" out of trash and toliet cleaner must lose their lawsuit.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:06 am |
    • Frank Mondana

      As soon as I meet as vegan who doesn't look like they vacationed in Auschwitz in the 40's, I'll become one.

      Veganism sure helped Steve Jobs out didn't it?

      September 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Mark K

        Really? "Veganism doesn't cure tumors" – that's your response?

        Oh, how about you see Dr McDougall before you make any further weight comments.

        We should all eat more *food* and less toothpaste-looking "food products". Enough said.

        September 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  9. Oh Come ON

    People are flipping out because of the parts that are in their food? Gelatin is made from bones, red food coloring is made from bugs, and "pink slime" is made from undesirable parts. But you know what? If it tastes great and doesn't get me sick (it doesn't, thanks to the ammonium hydroxide), then I'll eat it. I can't believe people flip out over these things.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  10. Cristiabella

    Gee, sorry the truth came out about the disgusting glop you sold disguised as food...suck it up.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  11. Chris McKeown

    I see some of the propaganda machines are here too (Jess). Anywho I was taught don't waste anything and that is all that BPI as done, they are using everything from the cow they can. As I have read up on this seems that LFTB (pink slime) is 100% all beef product. Though I am not pleased with the chemical process it is needed in these times of E coli outbreaks which is from meat from around the world. People do have a right to choose but they need to media to report honestly in this case ABC did not nor did others that just picked up the story and ran with it without checking out all the facts. I think ABC will ended up settling out of court and I think they should apologize for all those that lost their jobs just so they could get a bump up on their ratings.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Chris, suggest you read Fast Food Nation (don't watch the "movie" based on a fictionalization of it). I too believe in not wasting stuff, but Pink Slime is just simply something I don't need to consume. Ever.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  12. Jess


    FDA urged to ban feeding of chicken feces to cattle LA TIMES
    Food and consumer groups say the practice increases the risk of cattle becoming infected with mad cow disease. A beef industry trade group say a ban isn't needed.
    October 31, 2009|Jerry Hirsch

    A fight is brewing over the practice of feeding chicken feces and other poultry farm waste to cattle.

    A coalition of food and consumer groups that includes Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban the practice. McDonald's Corp., the nation's largest restaurant user of beef, also wants the FDA to prohibit the feeding of so-called poultry litter to cattle.

    Members of the coalition are threatening to file a lawsuit or to push for federal legislation establishing such a ban if the FDA doesn't act to do so in the coming months.

    Farmers feed 1 million to 2 million tons of poultry litter to their cattle annually, according to FDA estimates.

    September 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm |

    ABC is getting sued because the meat guys got caught and the news got out....love it !

    September 18, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  14. Big Dave

    Not sure who is in the right. I do know Hulk Hogan would eat a lot of beef chicken and even raw eggs back in the 1980s. Hulk did have some big arms ran a 5 min mile and had a 585lbs bench press. I have known a few Vegan people in my day,nice people not the strongest of people, but studies show they tend to have a iq of 108, not to shabby. Here are a few links on beef the good the bad and as I am known the ugly.

    September 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  15. ilvpitz

    It's not the "beef scraps" that bother me even though that sounds like undesirable beef was used, it's the "connective tissue" thing. To me, that sounds gross. I don't want to eat connective tissue or at least not know about it.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • What?

      The "scraps" are primarily trimmings off the external surface of the carcass – the area immediately underneath the skin. This subcutaneous fat typically is the thickest fat on the animal and is what needs to be trimmed the most. When trimming the fat, it is very easy to also remove appreciable pieces of lean, which is now "wasted". This trim frequently constitutes the majority of the trim from a carcass. Ground beef, by law, cannot contain more than 30% fat, so these super fatty trimmings must be mixed with other leaner trimmings to make ground beef. These other trimmings are probably already running somewhere in the range of 10-15% fat, or more, so this isn't an avenue to get rid of much of the super fatty external trim.

      Now, enter the LFTB process. The meat is heated only to about 100F – enough to liquefy a large percentage of the fat that is present. The heated mass is spun in a centrifuge to remove most of the fat, and the solids that are left are subjected to a slight ammonium hydroxide treatment as a "pasteurization" step, ground into large pieces and frozen. There is nothing "slimy" about either the appearance or texture of the product. If the ammonium hydroxide bothers you, it really shouldn't. It is used in the process of making many, many non-meat food products including some breads and candies. And while on this subject – nearly every carcass processed in the U.S. today is subjected to a surface spray of one of a variety of weak acids – acetic, peroxyacetic, lactic, etc. – as an anti-microbial intervention almost immediately after skinning.

      You are subjected to 'connective tissue' every time you eat meat. "Gristle" is just the most recognizable and most concentrated form of connective tissue. There is connective tissue scattered throughout every muscle, holding the bundles of muscle fibers together. Every single muscle also is surrounded by a connective tissue sheath, although it is almost imperceptible in most cases. Collagen is by far the most prevalent protein found in connective tissue and is the very substance from which gelatin is made. It is impossible to extract "lean meat" from pure connective tissue. There is no "lean meat" there, so if the intent is to make a "lean meat" product, nobody in their right mind would put pure connective tissue into the process hoping to get "lean meat" out.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  16. luckyponytoo

    Honestly, the issue isn't whether this product is safe or not, it's the fact that it is disgusting and people don't want to eat it. The only reason there was any demand for it in the first place was because they could hide it in other products to make them cheaper. No one would have willingly eaten it if they'd known it was there.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • What?

      And the major reason that most find it "disgusting" is because of all the half-truths, misinformation, and flat-out lies that have been told about it.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
      • What?_a_Shill?

        yep, all of those half truths, like the MILLIONS of pounds of CONTAMINATED beef that's had to be recalled in the past several years.

        yep, those half-truths about downer cows, and how the industry fought to keep it quiet about them and keep them acceptable.

        yep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy was just a myth, shame on those crazy terrorist scientists.

        feed a cow genetically modified organisms, sure what harm could that do...never-mind that the industry doesn't know/care, if they can squeeze a few extra cents per pound out of the cow, so be it. aww, poor neighbor farmer, your crops has been contaminated by cross polinization? good, pay up or we'll sue, that's a proprietary grain.

        rBST additives, sure...so what if it might have long term health risks to the public, we'll make the cows make more milk and make us more money.

        the meat/cow/dairy industry has just been sooo trustworthy and looking out for the American people's health and interests.

        I'll tell you one thing that I did notice when this crap stopped being added to the ground beef...the smell of it cooking no longer made me nauseous.

        September 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
        • What?

          Shill for what – the truth?

          Millions of pounds of beef have been recalled for POSSIBLE contamination. When a sample tests positive, all production associated with that sample is recalled. There is no proof that 100% of the product is contaminated; it is a full recall for POTENTIAL safety reasons.

          The "industry" fought the downer rule because a large percentage of 'non-ambulatory' animals are non-ambulatory because of legs being broken during transport, and there is absolutely no food safety risk associated with these animals. The ban on all "downers" was the right thing to do, since not everybody handling the animals can tell the difference between a broken limb and a neurological problem.

          Who ever claimed BSE was a myth? The source may have been questioned, but the fact it's out there has not been in question for over 20 years.

          GMO's? The jury's still out on some of those, but the general reaction of the public – "this isn't 'natural', therefore it can't be good" – is straight out of "Chicken Little".

          Since you're so well-versed on all these things, perhaps you will explain to us the difference between rBST and BST, and tell us exactly what each of them do? No, I didn't think so. Did you even know that "BST" is real?

          I'm a "shill", alright – I call BS when it is BS . . . and you don't like that . . . so I'm a "shill". That's rich.

          September 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  17. eking

    McNuggets are made with the same thing – but from chicken. Just remember: you are what you eat. Literally.
    Eat REAL food.

    September 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  18. Guest

    Put any safe filler in your products that you want to, but let the consumer know so an informed choice can be made.

    September 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  19. Jim

    This is why I grind my own beef. Chuck roast is just as cheap as ground worms and squirrels and boots or whatever the put in that stuff.

    September 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Brendon

      This is the real issue here. Nobody knows what they are talking about. They just go along blindly with what their told. You don't know what is being put into this meat so you assume its worms and boots. I have no problem with you eating your own ground beef but uninformed comments like this cost 700 people their jobs.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  20. mrman

    At the very least, it should be listed as a filler on the package contents.

    September 17, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  21. Wormey

    100% beef = ears, eyes, hooves, tails. As long as it's from a cow. Yum yum.
    Why would anyone want to eat ANYTHING that has to be treated with ammonia so it doesn't make you sick? I can't believe that some people are actually defending this disgusting garbage.

    September 17, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • What?

      No ears, no eyes, no hooves, and few – if any – tails (you ever hear of "ox-tail"?, sells for a lot more than GB or LFTB).

      Nice BS sensationalism, though. Maybe they will sue you for libel, too – which is what you just did.

      You call this one a 'technicality' if you want to, but . . . it doesn't have to be treated with ammonia (it's ammonium hydroxide, by the way, Ace) to keep you from getting sick – it is treated with ammonia to increase the chance that you won't get sick.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • Wormey

        Did I ever say that these things were in the pink slime??? I don't see that anywhere in my post. So, who exactly was being libeled here? What I was saying is that manufacturers can put anything from a cow into their products and call it 100%beef. Doesn't mean I want to eat it. Sorry about the 700 jobs, but I really don't feel it is our duty to have to ingest things that we don't want to when it contains things that are unappetizing to us.

        September 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
        • What?

          I suspect that any competent lawyer could take your comment, put it IN CONTEXT of the subject discussion at hand, and prove it was "implied" you were talking about the current subject.

          You are wrong about "100% beef" – one cannot use much of anything besides skeletal meat without specifically stating each 'part' as such in the ingredients list. And, if I'm not mistaken, the "100% beef" description refers specifically to 100% beef skeletal muscle – not 'parts'.

          September 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • George P. Burdell

      When's the last time you ate a hot dog? Did you know what was in it? BPI got blindsided in this one. A bureaucrat's smart-a comment goes viral by an alarmist nut, and an industry gets hammered? Give me a break.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Wormey

        I can't remember the last time I ate a hot dog. I stopped eating them because I do know what goes in them. As a matter of fact, I stopped eating all meat because of the way it is raised and processed. I am enjoying a very healthy life without it.

        September 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  22. Phil

    Folks, you don't think the hamburger you eat is ground up filet mignon do you? The fact is that hamburger has always been made from the less desirable parts of beef. It is no different than hot dogs or sausage. The product is safe and has little effect on either health or taste, if any at all. Some mom with a blog wants to start a petition because she has nothing better to do? ABC and other news outlets take the story and run with it because saying "pink slime" is fun? I am from Sioux City (as is BPI) and I saw firsthand how much this has hurt good people and hurt the entire community. Over 700 good people lost their jobs due to this "story". I hope mom with a blog can sleep at night.

    September 17, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  23. buzz

    Should have left it in dog food.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  24. Seldom Seen Mike

    Serious, guys, just don't eat beef. Even if it doesn't have "pink slime" in it, you should still avoid it.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • saganhill

      No Mike. Thats not a healthy thing to say. Saying that eating beef is bad is nothing but an opinion based on psudo Science and has no merit.

      I have seen vegans and they do not look very healthy.

      Im not giving up my Steak or hamburg (Both localy grown) for someones anti-scientific view on health and food.

      September 17, 2012 at 7:57 am |
      • Wormey

        And the fact that you" have seen vegans and they look unhealthy" is sound scientific evidence that beef is healthy?

        September 17, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • Rick

        sagan: how many unhealthy looking vegans have you seen?

        September 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
      • between the lines?

        um, so where exactly did he say don't eat any type of meat?

        September 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  25. yahmez

    ABC never implied that the ingredients of "Pink Slime" were illegal. They merely pointed out that it is being used in our food chain, and that if you were unaware this product was in our food chain, and the truth would most likely cause you disgust. I frankly don't see the problem here, and think their suit is baseless.

    September 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  26. glenda

    Here in Tx., they showed Governor Rick Perry supporting pink slime. Of course he doesn't really eat it, or support it, he was just earning his paycheck from the pink slime makers. They're called Big Business, and he dearly loves kissing Big Business butts.

    September 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • mannyjp

      big businesses give a lot of butts work i love big business since i work for a major us company we need more big busyness and corporations in this country then maybe unemployment wouldnt be so high. God bless big business it has given me everything i have thanks and God bless the USA

      September 17, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  27. Wishspell

    When I shop at a store or I eat a hamburger in a restaurant, I expect it to be what it says. Pure beef. Pure beef is not ammonia hydroxide. Their advertisements are false and misleading. Lean finely textured beef never mentioned ammonia. I do not want scraps from the floor fried in ammonia and water and call it food. I say this because if they use it from close to the hide, what is to stop them from using this junk from other sources.

    They never told us they put this in the food and if anyone deserves a lawsuit, it's the company who came out with this garbage. I switched to sirloin and chuck but now I wonder if that may contain it as well. I hope not. I don't care what anyone says, this is gross and we don't know exactly what ammonia does inside your body in the long run. How cheap can companies be to try to fool consumers to save a few bucks.

    September 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Food Industry Reality

      Maybe you should do some research on chemicals used in food processing, and the requirements set forth to the food industry by the Food Safety and Inspection Service to protect the public from pathogens such as e. coli and salmonella. Unless your food says organic, it's probably been treated with a chemical. Meat and poultry are not inherently free of pathogens, but government agencies and the PUBLIC would like them to be. How do you get rid of pathogens, but with the use of chemicals. The more the public demands increase for pathogen free RAW meat and poultry products, the more chemicals will be used. With regards to the pink slime, maybe the public should be barking at the regulatory agencies rather than the food processors, they don't make the rules for labeling, the government does.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • ol14ki

      I completely agree. The companies that use this treated beef should at least have the decency to label on the packaging if this process was used. Is that really all that hard? I don't understand, why risk peoples' lives just to save some money? This is ridicules.

      November 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  28. Mickey1313

    Bpi its one of the worst companies on earth. Watch the documentary food inc to see the details. We need to stop protecting the evil companies that make toxic food.

    September 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  29. Renee Marie Jones

    They named the stuff "Lean, finely textured beef" because they knew that if they told people what it really was no one would want to eat it. They knew they were lying and they knew they were cheating people. There product is not what people think beef means. Period. They *should* be out of business. You got caught, guys.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • tsoho

      It was "Lean", it was "Beef", and after being ground up, it was "Finely Textured". They were not lying.

      Seriously. What do you think you are eating when you buy "all beef" hot-dogs? Steak? I'll tell you what I expect. I expect it to all have come from a cow, but I don't have any expectation as to what part of the cow it came from.

      The real crime here was for a news outlet to characterize it as "pink slime". It's not any pinker or any slimier than regular hamburger meat, but that characterization cast it as completely different from other meats and resulted in a significant loss of sales for the company.

      September 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • Mickey1313

        So you accept, anus and intestine as "beef" you are sad.

        September 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
        • tsoho

          As I understand it "beef" indicates that it is bovine but does not necessarily mean that it is muscle. It could also be heart, liver, kidney, brain, tongue, blood, or bone marrow. As long as it comes from a cow it is "beef".

          Incidentally, the casing on your pork sausage could very easily be the pig's intestine also.

          September 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
        • rlkoontz

          Sausage in natural casing, liverwurst in natural casing... what exactly do you think natural casing is? uh, its intestine.

          September 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
        • Dave

          As I understand it, the product can also include scrotum, tail meat, hair and insects. Finely textured, of course.

          September 17, 2012 at 2:23 am |
        • What?

          @ tsoho

          If it's "lean beef" or just "beef", it can't be any of those. It would have be labeled as "Beef whatever".

          September 17, 2012 at 11:34 am |
        • What?

          @ Dave

          Your "understanding" is completely wrong.

          If the intent was either humor or sarcasm, the attempt was an "epic fail".

          September 17, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • Wishspell

        I gather you work for the company or did not fully understand what is in the meat. It is not all meat. It is AMMONIA HYDROXIDE. There is no animal on earth born with this in their body. I clean my floor with ammonia, I do not eat it.

        September 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
        • masherwould

          You are ignorant. Ammonia is a natural. It is produced by the human body. "Ammonia is also produced in the human body and is commonly found in nature. It is essential in the body as a building block for making proteins and other complex molecules. In nature, ammonia occurs in soil from bacterial processes. It is also produced when plants, animals and animal wastes decay." New York Department of Health.

          September 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
        • FFAGirly*

          To everyone out there talking about ammonium hydroxide, look up the regulations (. org or .gov sites), and YES it is found in MOST processed foods, look at the breakdown of a baconcheeseburger, the CHEESE and BREAD has more ammonium in it than the GB, and to top it off each pound of GB is allowed to have no more than 20% of it treated with a puff of amonium hydroxide to maintain the raw pink color, lower the fat content and prohibit growth of E. Coli. Please do your research before you accuse the beef industry, with out uitlizing the bits used in LFTB we would need to add 1 million beef animals think of all the waste that adds!

          September 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
      • rachel

        According to the article, the term "pink slime" did not come from the media. It was first used in an inspectors email to another inspector, which was brought into play during a lawsuit, which made the media. The media was only reporting what the inspectors reported. I don't see any harm in using this product, BUT it should be known that it is in a product. If people don't want to eat their product, then they go out of business. It's as simple as that. Most people don't want to eat ammonia. That's what's contained in their product. They lost business because people were properly informed about their product, and chose not to consume it.

        September 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • hvshields

      Your article doesn't mention the SOURCE of the pink slime – slaughter house FLOOR wastes.

      Seventy percent of US hamburger contains up to 25% per pound of "pink
      slime" which consists of the slaughterhouse floor wastes treated with
      ammonium hydroxide to kill E. coli and Salmonella bacteria.

      The problem is, ammonium hydroxide does NOT inactivate mad cow prions
      which may be part of the ankle-deep muck of blood, fats, tissue and
      scraps on the floor:

      Slaughterhouses are required to remove "SRM" – specified risk
      materials- the parts of a cow with the highest concentrations of
      prions. SRM include the skull, brain,ganglia, eyes, tonsils, spinal
      cord and small intestine. Power tools, including chain saws, are used
      to cut up the carcasses.. It is unavoidable that potentially prion
      infected wastes from high risk tissues end up on the blood-soaked
      slaughterhouse floors – to be incorporated into the pink slime.

      Alzheimer's is a transmissible, infectious prion disease – 6 million US victims – new case every 68 seconds – Dr. Mathias Jucker, 2010; Dr. Claudio
      Soto, Univ/Texas 2011; and Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, UCSF, 2012.
      http://www.alzheimers-prions.com/pdf/JUNE2012PRUSINER-ETAL- ALZHEIMERSISAPRIONDISEASE.pdf

      Parkinson's Disease is now also believed to be a prion disease (3 million US victims)

      Pink slime is a potential pathway to deliver infectious prions to an
      unsuspecting public from vats of processed hamburger.

      Adding to the pink slime risks, aging dairy cows with asymptomatic Bovine Amyloidotic Spongiform Encephalopathy (BASE) are regularly entering US food supply UNTESTED in huge industrial mixing vats of hamburger, each containing meat from 50 to 100 animals from multiple states and two to four countries. http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/burger21904.cfm
      This is a likely route of human prion disease infection (AD).

      Helane Shields, Alton, NH hshields@tds.net http://www.alzheimers-prions.com/


      Sample of news articles identifying slaughter house floor wastes as the source of pink slime:



      Alton, NH hshields@tds.net http://www.alzheimers-prions.com/

      September 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
      • Wishspell

        Good information. Those are very important points. I applaud your research.

        September 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
      • 1

        The FLOOR scraps are not from the litreal floor but the cutting room call the "floor"

        September 17, 2012 at 10:12 am |
      • What?

        You did a nice job of writing an authoritative-sounding post – problem is, it's mostly BS.

        I don't know where all you people get that scraps that have been on the floor are used – that is 100% wrong and 100% illegal (FAIL). Therefore, any 'potential' SRM on the floor is not mixed in with the rest of the trimmings used to produce LFTB (FAIL).

        The maximum usage level allowed for LFTB is 15%, not 25% (FAIL).

        LFTB is used mainly in meat destined for pre-cooked patties, not for fresh ground beef, so your "70%" number is completely erroneous (FAIL).

        September 17, 2012 at 11:45 am |
        • C

          What? – Did PBI pay you? you've replied to all these posts making comments about peoples ignorance, flinging figures out there and talking about suing for libel ............. sounds suspiciously like BPI paid you to monitor the discussion boards regarding anything to do with their amonia laced products.

          September 18, 2012 at 9:17 am |
        • What?

          @ C

          Not that it's really any of your business, but no, they aren't paying me. Never have, and I doubt they ever will. I have no association with them whatsoever. What I do have is a much more than just a "passing familiarity" with food and meat processing.

          Libel is what it is, and if you don't "know" what that is, may be you should find a dictionary. Then – if you can think objectively – tell me what you think about my comments.

          Ignorance is also what it is – and way too many people here are swallowing the "Jamie Oliver" and "ABC" 'information' (excuse me while I laugh) hook, line, and sinker. You don't like that this stuff was used without "disclosure", fine, gripe about that. But people continuing to "misrepresent" and flat-out lie about what it is and how it's made is getting really, really old.

          You don't believe my numbers? Prove them wrong, if you're able, and I will gladly retract them. (I won't be holding my breath.)

          Why don't you try finding a REPUTABLE source of information if you really want to know about such things. Sensationalism generates a lot of "hits" and sells a lot of ads, but it really doesn't do much in the way of passing on real reliable information, and certainly not from a 'technical' standpoint.

          September 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  30. Jess


    FDA urged to ban feeding of chicken feces to cattle
    Farmers feed 1 million to 2 million tons of poultry litter to their cattle annually, according to FDA estimates.

    October 31, 2009|Jerry Hirsch

    September 16, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  31. sbblakey777

    BPI, Inc. will definitely lose this lawsuit. They're the ones responsible for starting this controversy overall by creating the pink slime itself. Now, I myself love a good burger. I haven't really noticed a difference since McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell have stopped using the stuff. I am disgusted that this stuff was put in the beef, but did it do me any harm? No. It didn't. But it didn't benefit me either. There was no reason to put the pink slime in the beef. BPI, Inc. should have known that this story would break one day. They have no definitive reason to sue ABC. ABC didn't defame BPI, Inc. They were doing what they do, break the news to the people of this country.

    September 16, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  32. Rex Peterson

    There are enough comments on here to prove BPI's point.
    I recommend the blog feedyardfoodie for a very well researched discussion of the product.

    September 16, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • got2B kiiding me

      What is BPI's point? That the media exposed that ground beef was being spiked with processed connective tissue, beef scraps and amonia and say to everyone that the mixture is beef and charging the same price as actual meat? Please show me the logic

      September 16, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Reggie

      I suspect that a meritless lawsuit will go forward, and that many things about the pink slime which were far too disgusting to mention in the TV news coverage will become widely publicized as a result of the lawsuit. I predict that the TV networks will profit dramatically from all of the media attention, and that the present 2 million pounds of pink slime being sold per week will plummet to nearly zero within a year of the lawsuit being filed, and further, that within two years BPI will have lost both the lawsuit and the business. In the end, I think BPI will become a textbook example of the ultimate marketing train wreck, and also a sobering business lesson as to why it is foolish to "send good money after bad."

      September 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
      • fekt

        Yes but at least they're clearly employing people right now to post in CNN forums. I read these forums to often to not be able to see plants. Not sure if they hired an outside firm or what but clearly they're employing people to post positive comments. This is the internet. We don't do positive here.
        Bottom line is nothing was a lie. People found the product disgusting when told what it was. You can't change that. Sorry about your luck. Quit trying to feed us garbage.

        September 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      The point is knowing what is in my food. If it took ABC to make the knowledge mainstream, then that's what it takes. (Mind you, ABC wasn't the first to point this out - but they are suing ABC because they got the word out to practically everyone.) IF knowing what is in the food I will choose then to eat or not to eat is an actionable offense, then this is indeed a pretty sorry world. BPI in my book has NO case. (And I choose to buy my limited amount of beef from local farmers, and this is just one of a host of reasons why.)

      September 20, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  33. gil cottrell

    Guess what? I haven't eaten a hamburger since this came out! I'm glad the truth came out so I had a choice in what I thought I was eating! The truth is, some people in this country are so greedy that they would feed me crap if they could suggest it was good a wholesome. Come on! I want freshly ground beef like the good ole days, not the crap we feed the dogs. You are trying to stick something in my food and covering up the truth in where and what it was. Well, now that I know, NO MORE HAMBURGER for me.No more Carl's Jr, In and OUT ( their slaughter house illegally used sick and none mobile ( illegal) animals for their beef, )Mcdonalds ( that never tasted like REAL beef anyways), Burger King that I knew must be substituting something too cheap), and Taco Bell that wasn't even using real beef after all.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  34. jim atmad

    The company that put ammoniated fecal matter in our grocery stores and kids' lunches is suing the company that pointed out that fact?

    I doubt that lawsuit will go anywhere.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • What?

      You up for a libel suit? You ought to be careful what you're writing, because – technically – that's what you just did.

      By law, any beef material contaminated with feces must be removed and placed in INEDIBLE OFFAL. If you're smart enough to figure out what that is – which I somewhat doubt – then you will know why you are wrong.

      September 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

    Americans will eat anything. Anything. Seriously, folks – why don't you all just drop your pants and sh!t directly onto a plate. Think of all the money you'll save.

    September 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Incredulous

      You are absolutely correct. Of course we could talk about Menudo, oops, that would be culturally objectionable to those who are Hispanic American. How about sausages, that use intestines....no, that would probably offend the German Americans, how about Colorado Oysters....nah, who knows who that might offend. I know, we can go after all the people who sell cooked shrimp, I am sure that they don't de-vein them.....nope, once again, that might put some poor ethnic restaurant out of business. We really need to find a lilly-white, large business (more then 45 people) who had followed government rules, but probably did something wrong, like, didn't bow to the Liberal Media when it came out and said, "We need to fix you, so we are going to report on you." If you have any ideas, let me know.

      Personally I think we should go after any and ALL fish companies. Can you imagine, they sell a product that swims, and breathes in it's own PISS, how revolting!

      September 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • rlkoontz

        Don't forget they also defecate in that water too. Also, thousands and thousands of bushels of crabs are steamed and sold every year... and some of them have *gasp* eaten dead bodies of other crustaceans, fish, and mammals (including the occasional human mammal)

        September 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  36. Incredulous

    I can't believe you naive, self-important individuals. If you eat any kind of meat, be it fowl, fish, port, venison, buffalo, or beef, YOU have eaten connective tissue! You hypocrites pontificate at how evil the company is? The meat was NOT tainted, it was USDA approved, it had the same level of nutrition, it met the LIB's purported love of GREEN by allowing the meat attached to the bone to be used, and thus, not wasting anything, but you are more interested in bad mouthing the company that created the method of producing the product. It is obvious to me, that the CATTLE in this story, has nothing to do with Pink Slime, but rather the commentators on this article.

    September 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm |

      Oh, heaven forbid that the good and mighty USDA, or any other government organization, would ever steer the American public wrong.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      It is the fact that they sell amoniated cartalige at the same cost as top round, that is theft

      September 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • What?

        FACT: It is biochemically impossible to get "lean meat" out of cartilage. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

        September 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Ri

      Just because it is USDA approved does not mean it is good for you!

      September 17, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Thinking things through

      Incred, I eat connective tissue all the time. I make stock out of my leftover chicken. But I don't voluntarily eat ammonionated bits of thousands of cattle mashed together into one patty, many of who were diseased because they were mashed together into humungous feedlots eating unnatural junk - thereby perhaps necessitating the ammonia. I prefer to eat my food from one animal at a time. I prefer to be informed as to what is IN my food so I can decide things on a case by case basis. If ABC or anyone else is INFORMING me, I can then decide whether or not it is a fact that matters to ME. You've been informed. You choose to continue to eat it. That's fine. I choose not. BPI does not run an industry that respects freedom of information on something so essential as to what we put into our own bodies. Now I am waiting for the rice industry to sue Consumer Reports over the arsenic thing...

      September 20, 2012 at 7:00 am |
  37. Jess

    ATTN PINK SLIME MAKERS: does this LA TIMES article about feces fed beef make you proud?

    FDA urged to ban feeding of chicken feces to cattle
    Farmers feed 1 million to 2 million tons of poultry litter to their cattle annually, according to FDA estimates.

    Food and consumer groups say the practice increases the risk of cattle becoming infected with mad cow disease. A beef industry trade group say a ban isn't needed.
    October 31, 2009|Jerry Hirsch

    September 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Luddite1811

      Chicken poop, as long as it is sterilized, would be safe to eat.... But gross :-O=== They mix it with sawdust... Have been doing it for decades...
      As far as poop causing mad cow.... I doubt it as nerve tissue causes mad cow... not poop...

      September 16, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  38. wallynm

    ABC did a emotional diatribe against this product. Drove Americans out of a job.

    September 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • jim atmad

      Who is out of a job? Americans are eating just as much beef, which means they're eating more non-ammoniated fecal-infested beef, and somebody is producing that beef.

      The jobs have moved somewhere else in the country, to a less health-endangering, less disgusting area of the industry.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
      • What?

        Only the 700 people who lost their jobs at the three plants that were closed – don't read much "real" news, do you?

        September 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  39. Sun

    Suck it up, Beef Products Inc. You got caught making a possibly toxic and really nasty product, quit trying to pretend you didn't know it. This is a frivolous lawsuit, I hope it gets thrown out. Or better yet, I hope you lose, and have to PAY. Perhaps every parent in America should sue YOU for trying to slip our children your pasty crap.

    September 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  40. AjaDiamond

    How can they sue ABC when all they did was tell the truth about their product? I guess they thought that no one would mind eating "beef scraps and connective tissue" that has been treated with ammonia. I'm sorry that people lost jobs. Perhaps if they hadn't misled people for years, this wouldn't have happened. Why it was approved to begin with is a whole other story!!

    September 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Sun

      Because someone had the $$ to buy the approval. I wouldn't feed it to my pets either.

      September 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  41. john

    i dont even know where to start....this whole concept of putting human beings second to anything especially over profit....this is so wrong on so many levels....TO ACTUALLY FEED THIS WASTE TO US and to change rules and laws to allow is so diabolical and smacks of being treated like some sick ass experiment ....if you harken back less than 150 yrs had the public found out....THE CORPORATE OFFICERS ANYONE WHO WAS IN THE LOOP WOULD BE HUNTED DOWN AND terminated with extreme prejudice now i would just like to see everyone involved locked away THEM AND their family members only allowed to eat for the duration of their lives FINELY TEXTURED BEEF

    September 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • gil cottrell

      yes, why don't they feed us sh*t and color it to look like beef. How about road kill ground up? Ground up worms? maggots sound appetizing! REALLY????? Disgusting... I'm afraid to buy it ground anymore since I don't know what they put in it! There goes my Beef Stroganoff! I'll pass on that and have fish.

      September 15, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  42. pensimmon

    it's no good, I can't trust agribusiness any longer. They only care about money. They use poisons on the plants and on the ground, they feed our meat with food not designed for the animal, they keep then in unsanitary conditions, they give the animals antibiotics so we become resistant and on and on and on. I shall spend a few more dollars a week and buy only organic fruits and vegetables and organically raised meats and eggs from organically raised chickens. They have broken a sacred trust, and I'm not buying that stuff any more.

    September 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  43. blanchjoe

    Dear Beef Products Incorporated, There is an important issue that you must consider in your suit with ABC, whatever the merits of your case, regardless of whether you win or lose, ..the public is now aware of this practice, and will continue to reject "Any" food stuff created with your product included. Rightly or Wrongly the discovery of the existence of your Meat Product is being percieved as another false-hood fostered behind the scenes on the American consumer by large profit only oriented conglomerates. Perhaps the Board of directors for the producers of this product should have been more concerned with the puplic perception of what this product represented, than the Quarterly Shareholder Profits percentages.

    September 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Sharp

      Executives are supposed to make sound decisions based on all the factors. These people held the public in such disrespect that they thought they would get away with it forever. They could have done good business putting it in animal food where it belongs. Instead they snuck it into the food & now they have to pay for their mistake.

      September 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  44. Lorenzo

    I don't object to the use of the product, and I might even eat it (though I don't generally buy pre-ground beef or eat fast-food burgers). What I object to is the product being foisted on unsuspecting consumers who have a right to know what is in their food. When you buy a fast-food burger, there is no label or other way for a consumer to know what kind of beef it contains. Consumers are familiar only with the kind of beef that grandma or their local grocery store put through a regular meat grinder. And labeling it with these euphemisms like "Finely Textured Beef" is not informative to ordinary consumers. It needs to be labeled something like "beef trimmings and connective tissue treated with antimicrobial gas." That is not a flattering description, but it is accurate and informative enough for ordinary consumers to make a choice to eat it or not.

    September 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Seldom Seen Mike

      ^^^ What he said ^^^

      September 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • reality check

      "Pink slime" is simply an unfortunate name given to a natural part of the cow that had been separated from it during the meat rendering process. If you want to object to something, object to the sat fat in meat products that no one seems to object to.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:47 am |
  45. Disgusted

    The public has the right to know what is being put in our food people do have food alergies and should be made aware of itbeef now don't taste right...what gives you the right to sue someone for telling your disgusting secret now who does the publie get to sue for feeding us this sh*t?

    September 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
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