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The ‘pink slime activists,' protesting against the usage of 'pink slime' in ground beef, has scored their first victory as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that major beef processors have applied for labeling that would indicate the presence of pink slime in their products. The USDA is planning to approve these labels after examining their accuracy.
Pink slime, created from low-quality beef trimmings, is an industrial byproduct and is usually treated with ammonia gas to qualify it for food health standards.
Critics argue that several cheap ground beef and frozen-marketed hamburger patties contain pink slime as an additive. Although the food watchdogs certify that they meet the food standards, some critics argue that the addition of pink slime is not disclosed on the labels.
Many food stores like McDonald’s Corp ( MCD - Analyst Report ) , Kroger Co. ( KR - Analyst Report ) , Safeway Inc. ( SWY - Analyst Report ) and Food Lion stopped purchasing ground beef with the controversial meat filler.
Beef processors believe that the inclusion of the new labels in their products will restore the level of confidence of the consumers. They also noticed that since the pink slime stir began, demand for beef without the additive had increased.
However, the trade group for farmers, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, believes that a label indicating the presence of pink slime is unnecessary as the finely textured beef product is also pure beef.
The confusion regarding the effect of pink slime has reduced the consumption of ground meat to a considerable extent. Tyson Food Inc.'s ( TSN - Analyst Report ) management forecasted that there will be a 2% to 3% reduction in supply, which in turn will drive up costs for consumers.
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