Pink Slime Producer Closing Three Plants, Wants You to Feel Bad About It

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Just a victim of bad PR? Photo: Francois Nascimbeni/Getty Images

We love the smell of victory in the morning, even when it reeks of an unhallowed mixture of ammonia and subpar-quality beef trimmings. The L.A. Times reports that food activists and concerned citizens have successfully countered the "pink slime" scourge: Manufacturer BPI plans to close three of its four plants where the product is fabricated. At first glance, a 75 percent reduction in pink-slime production sounds like great news, but one Seattle-area lawyer is stepping out from the shadows to try and convince everyone that BPI has gotten a bum deal.

Food-safety lawyer Bill Marler pins the whole kerfuffle on the company's PR. He says, "From a public-relations standpoint, they handled it incorrectly. Ultimately, when you're selling people food, you ought to be transparent about what you're selling them."

Marler goes on to say the company has been a warrior for food safety despite, you know, feeding much of the population weird ammonia-sprayed Franken-meat. He claims BPI has been "unfairly treated," which raises the question: Is it worse to be treated without fairness, or with ammonia?

That's not all. USA Today reveals that the beef industry isn't done wringing its hands over the whole exposé and ensuing campaign. The industry is expecting a major shake-up after the dumping of the product by major supermarket chains and food suppliers. In fact, it's now trying to make everyone feel bad about the rejection of the slime by reminding us of all the jobs that will be lost at the three closing factories.

The article also warns that the loss of lean-beef trimmings (the less-gross name for pink slime) could very well lead to a spike in beef prices for all of us in the months to come. Somehow, we think a higher price for beef might be worth paying once the stuff actually becomes real beef again. Besides, aren't we supposed to be a little wary of red meat these days anyway?

'Pink slime's' Beef Products Inc.: Hard knock for a good company? [LAT]
Beef industry braces for loss of 'pink slime' filler [USA Today]