Congresswoman Chellie Pingree introduced a bill that would require products containing lean finely textured beef to indicate that on the label.
The Requiring Easy and Accurate Labeling of Beef Act (REAL Beef Act) would require any beef containing lean finely textured beef (LFTB) to have a label at the final point of sale.
LFTB has been the subject of a grassroots effort to get it out of school lunches. Over a quarter of a million people recentlysigned an online petition calling for an end to serving "pink slime" in schools, and dozens of Pingree's colleagues in the House signed her letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack asking that the government stop buying the product for school lunches.
Pingree introduced her bill yesterday with ten co-sponsors.
AFA Foods, a ground beef processor, announced the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing recent changes in the market for ground beef and the impact of the controversy over LFTB. AFA is a competitor of Beef Products Inc., another producer of LFTB that has been the subject of recent media attention over the process used to produce the product used to make ground beef leaner.
Beef Products Inc. suspended operations at three of the company's four plants where lean finely textured beef is produced. These are the plants in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kan.; and Waterloo, Iowa. The plant in South Sioux City, Neb. will continue operating. The move comes in the wake of several major food-service operations and major supermarket chains announcing they will no longer carry ground beef products that contain LFTB.
Source: Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, AFA Foods, Beef Products Inc.