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 Who Should Meat Workers Sue Over Pink Slime Label?

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Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: Who Should Meat Workers Sue Over Pink Slime Label?    Tue 18 Dec 2012, 09:04

Who Should Meat Workers Sue Over Pink Slime Label?

Certainly not Jamie Oliver, ABC, Diane Sawyer, and Bloggers

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Disgruntled Bruce Smith is suing celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, ABC
Company, Diane Sawyer, and healthy lunch blogger Bettina Siegal of The Lunch Tray.
The former Beef Products Inc (BPI) employee claims "emotional distress"
after losing his job at one of four factories devoted to producing
lean-finely-texturized-beef (LFTB, aka 'Pink Slime') that closed earlier
this year. This case follows a previous suit by BPI filed against ABC for over a billion dollars, still pending.

Pink slime is a meat filler made from "ammoniated boneless lean beef
trimmings or similar products, which are considered unfit for human
consumption until ammonia has been added.” Is it any coincidence that
Smith also happens to have a book release up soon called Pink Slime Ate My Job,
and that the lawsuit asking $70 grand in damages is providing great
coverage for his publication? He is targeting those he feels slandered
the industry and created the uproar that drove consumer demand in the

Quick recap of the pending lawsuit:

While unfortunate that these employees lost their jobs, isn't anger
directed at those who sparked consumer outrage misguided? Would
"shooting" the messengers help get their livelihood back? The biggest
question no one seems to be asking is - Who are the real culprits of the Pink Slime nightmare?

The nightmare doesn't extend to just the deceived
consumers ingesting something unwittingly that they later found
revolting. Or paying extra for meat that was "cut" with a harmful
filler. It also extends to those humiliated and jobless after consumer
rejection when they thought they were diligently fulfilling a great

To justify any company, demand for product is needed. Where was this
demand? Until this year, hardly anyone knew there could be such
factories producing LFTB, doused in ammonia; and, of course, consumers
opted out immediately. As with any company deemed obsolete, the doors
close - but why was BPI here to begin with?

Perhaps it started with rising meat prices - using LFTB filler out of
desperation is plausible, albeit deceitful. A lot of the focus is on
capitalism - okay, corporate monopolies do rise up and cause a lot of
damage. But who are the ones incubating this growth and turning a blind
eye to the damage? The USDA oversees and helps the meat industry, and
the FDA deems various types of ammonia processing GRAS (generally recognized as safe). They care not about marketing and consumer demand - they deem what acceptable standard of harmful substance is approved for food without killing us.
Furthermore, labeling is not required, because it's considered part of
the process - not an ingredient. The same is true for food irradiation,
or else we'd think twice before buying meat with a biohazard sticker.

Really, if the fault of this debacle lies on only its exposure, then
that's a lot of lawsuits. Diane Sawyer only reported the story. Bettina
Siegal deserves a lot of credit for her reporting. It was never her
intent to put people out of business, but rather believes, "like any
other company, BPI should be free to sell its product so long as it
continues to do so in a safe — and transparent — manner."

She says of the lawsuit,
<blockquote class="tr_bq">
I’m confident the First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans,
including bloggers like myself, against meritless attempts at censorship
like this one. I will vigorously defend my right, and the rights of
all of us, to speak out on matters of public importance and to petition
the federal government, as I did through, to change any policy with which we disagree.</blockquote>
Her petition garnered an impressive quarter-million signatures before its close.

Big Food and the Industrial Factory Farming Complex are currently so
top-heavy, they are crumbling in upon themselves. Firstly, if consumers
must be deceived in order to produce - it probably shouldn't exist.
Secondly, if one secret getting out creates such a backlash, the product
is not desirable Frankly, it doesn't matter if it was a healthy
product; deceit is the biggest turn-off, and it's damn right no one has
to pay money to ingest an unknown product that is not fit even for
animal consumption. Also, big red flag if meat must be treated with
caustic chemicals to be called safe in the first place.

The big meat industries can shout "We would have gotten away with it if
it wasn't for you lousy kids!" all they want; and they do seem to take
pleasure in blaming the "threats" of pesky consumers.

Founder of BPI took out a Wall Street Journal ad and called the exposure a "campaign of lies" costing Americans their jobs. But the fact is, it's filler that wouldn't be safe unless doused with ammonium hydroxide gas which might not catch newer resistant forms of bacteria. And ammonia ingested in small amounts leads to deadly health defects. No parent would add even a drop of ammonia to dinner, yet this is what children get to eat everyday in National School Lunch Programs (paid by us) thanks to USDA thumbs up.

It is true that if meat didn't contain a lot of the harmful fillers,
we'd be getting a lot less, for a lot more dollars. So be it. Rising
prices and budget cuts do not justify health hazards in school lunches.
And then to get blamed for justifiable anger is further insult to

That's why a lot of us still eating meat, who know about the economy and
big food issues, don't mind paying a little more for the care that goes
into raising healthy cattle for pasture-fed, local food. The care that
gets no help from government subsidies. It's true free market, true
spending, true food. We decentralize with our forks, our free choice and
our wallets.

So, it is with great hope that the likes of Bruce Smith find their way,
but stop adding derision to those who reported the truth. Leave the
burning effigy of Jamie Oliver at home. Instead, turn your eyes on the
bloated regulatory agencies who paved the way for this crumbling empire
by first grooming Big Ag and big food corporations. These agencies (USDA
and FDA) are the ones we pay to supposedly keep us safe. Sue the
individuals escaping scrutiny who said this would be good for us.

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