By Pat Stacey
Would you like fries with your burger? How about some "pink slime". You've heard about the controversy over the ground beef additive used by many meat processors that has been called "pink slime".
Now many grocers and restaurants are stepping forward to pledge not to sell meat with "lean, finely textured meat" or "pink slime" included in it. The company that makes the meat additive – Beef Products, Inc. – has full F-D-A approval and the additive is technically an all beef product. But to get the product into an edible condition, it has to be warmed and treated with ammonia to kill harmful bacteria – not a very appealing process when you apply it to the next backyard cookout.
So the F-D-A has approved the product but public outcry is now changing the market and the F-D-A will need to reconsider the decision to allow "pink slime" in meat. The entire story is a little stomach turning if you are a burger fan but the real story is how government acted outside the health interests and preferences of the consumer.
It is the power of the people at work, changing the market place and ultimately, I predict, leading to a change in government policy. The final impact will be that the beef products will truly be closer to what the public expects them to be, labeling on beef will probably change, but the price will go up as well. "Pink slime" kept the costs of ground beef down but this is the price of doing right. It is kind of a messy subject but a very clean example of citizens forcing change.
It is good to see and it makes for a Better East Texas.