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Setting the Record Straight on Beef

As the head of USDA’s public health agency, I am responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe for American families. I approach this role not only as a food safety expert and a physician, but also as a mother. And I want to address the national conversation over the last few weeks about the safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB).

I believe it is important to distinguish people’s concerns about how their food is made from their concerns about food safety. The process used to produce LFTB is safe and has been used for a very long time.  And adding LFTB to ground beef does not make that ground beef any less safe to consume. 

We are lucky to live in a country with strong food safety standards. I certainly understand that there are processes and methods in food production that may be troublesome to some, regardless of their impacts on food safety.   Choosing what food to serve at your kitchen table is a very personal decision, and thankfully we have many choices at the grocery store that fit a variety of budgets.  We hope that we can continue to engage with the American consumer on the steps USDA takes every day to make sure the meat they buy is safe to eat.

Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Undersecretary for Food Safety and Inspection Service. USDA Photo by Ken Hammond.

Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Undersecretary for Food Safety and Inspection Service. USDA Photo by Ken Hammond.

50 Responses to “Setting the Record Straight on Beef”

  1. Megan says:

    Are you referring to the pink slime that’s been in the news lately?

  2. Ina says:

    Have there been any longterm toxicology studies perfomed which distinguish between pink slime containing ground beef and slime free ground beef? Just curious as the World cancer organisation recently recommended that one should not consume more than a pound of red meat per week as higher consumption has been associated with colon cancer. I don’t understand why red meat would be more unhealthy than white meat. Perhaps the pink slime could be a cause?

  3. What part of natural is pink slime? says:

    I woould like to know what pink slime does to our digestive systems and does it stay in our stay in our system and then what?

  4. JJ Goodwin says:

    “LFTB to ground beef does not make that ground beef any less safe to consume.”
    That statement is actually true but for the wrong reason, and that is that the commercial meat supply in this country is poisoned to start with. Just the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is so skewed from corn feed lot practices, that if you bottled it it would be marked “Poison”.
    If you are a mother and a food safety expert, and really concerned for your children’s health, you would not in good conscience feed corn fed beef to your children, not the pink chicken slime, turkey slime and pork slime in all their various manifestations.
    I am also an expert in food safety, and between the factory milk, eggs, GMO grains, water expanded feed lot meats and chlorpropham sprayed vegetables, there is almost no food in a regular store that is not toxic to some extent, and probably with three times the necessary salt (see carcass drip loss alleviation and water expansion) and usually sugar of one kind or another.

  5. June Toroda says:

    So she expects everyone to just take her word for it.
    How can ammonium hydroxide be ok to consume. I bet she is also a proponent of GMOs and there is NO way they are not harmful to our health and to the environment.
    USDA can’t be trusted or believed.
    It annoys me that she thinks we will all be OK with now that she, the voice of authority has ‘set the record straight’>
    Because they wouldn’t lie …. would they ?

  6. rwilymz says:

    [[Are you referring to the pink slime that’s been in the news lately?]]

    Yes.

    [[Have there been any longterm toxicology studies perfomed ...]]

    To what end? It’s beef.

    [[What part of natural is pink slime?]]

    Seriously?

    [[I woould like to know what pink slime does to our digestive systems ...]]

    Same thing the steak does, since it comes from it.

    [[I am also an expert in food safety]]

    Please.

    Are all of you this gullible?

    ‘Pink Slime’ is the desiccated remains of cellular breakdown and connective tissues and is in every – let me repeat: EVERY – for of animal flesh that we put into our mouths. In fish and chicken it is white.

    It’s the gelatinous goo that forms around the edges of your hunk of meat while roasting or broiling in a pan, that would fall off if you grilled it. All meat has it and the more the meat is “processed” the more it’ll have since most “processing” by its nature destroys cellular composition.

    The issue has come up because meat packers scrape this goo off the processing tables and toss it back into the hamburger from which it came, and it is unappetizing to some people. And some of those people who are unappetized see conspiracies in every action and resort to alarmism.

    …and then the USDA responds to the faux-crisis by dispensing disingenuous bureau-babble, doing no one, including them, any favors.

  7. Anne says:

    You say that choosing one’s food is a personal decision – WE CAN NOT DECIDE IF IT ISN’T LABELED. The same applies to GMO food – JUST LABEL IT. What are you afraid of? I think it is important to distinguish between science and people who are protecting companies.

  8. Randy Dutton says:

    ‘Pink Slime’ is the name of the first short story written about the subject. I wrote and published it a couple weeks ago. Using a fictional investigative reporter whose lunch was ruined by the disclosure of its content, it provides a vehicle to fully unveil the truth — much more than has been in the press. Available electronically from Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords, it is easily available and you can preview it. Just type in Pink Slime on any of those book sellers and it’ll pop up. PinkSlime dot us is another route.

  9. Randy Dutton says:

    The USDA says a process need not be labeled yet requires labeling of irradiation. There’s a disconnect.

    Since there is a higher percentage of connective tissue in LFTB than in regular ground beef, I would like to see the studies that quantify any pathogen carcasses. I recognized the ammonia may make the meat safe, but I think the government needs to get ahead of this and provide FULL disclosure.

    Also, I’m told our military are receiving LFTB in their ground beef. I’d like to get confirmation one way or another.

  10. Terry S. Singeltary Sr. says:

    IF the USDA NSLP are capable of letting slip through the cracks, for 4 years, dead stock downer cows, the most high risk cattle for mad cow disease and other dangerous pathogens, to be fed to hour children all across the Nation, does it really suprise anyone they are feeding our children pink slime, or a more pretty word, Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB).

    really.

    PLEASE be aware, for 4 years, the USDA fed our children all across the Nation (including TEXAS) dead stock downer cows, the most high risk cattle for BSE aka mad cow disease and other dangerous pathogens.

    who will watch our children for CJD for the next 5+ decades ???

    WAS your child exposed to mad cow disease via the NSLP ???

    SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM FROM DOWNER CATTLE UPDATE

    http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2009/05/who-will-watch-children.html

    http://downercattle.blogspot.com/

    DID YOUR CHILD CONSUME SOME OF THESE DEAD STOCK DOWNER COWS, THE MOST HIGH RISK FOR MAD COW DISEASE ???

    you can check and see here ;

    http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/safety/pdf/Hallmark-Westland_byState.pdf

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Infectivity in Skeletal Muscle of Cattle with Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    PLoS One. 2012; 7(2): e31449.

    The present data offer novel information on the tropism of the BASE agent and highlight relevant public health issues. While the transmission barrier for classical BSE is high in most species, BASE prions are readily transmissible to a variety of mammals including non-human primates [11]–[13], [35]. Accordingly, the possibility of spreading of BASE prions through skeletal muscle to other species should be taken into account and evaluated in risk analysis studies.

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/03/infectivity-in-skeletal-muscle-of.html

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Transmissibility of BSE-L and Cattle-Adapted TME Prion Strain to Cynomolgus Macaque

    “BSE-L in North America may have existed for decades”

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2011/06/transmissibility-of-bse-l-and-cattle.html

    Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME.

    snip…

    The rancher was a ”dead stock” feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle…

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030516051623/http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/mb/m09/tab05.pdf

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story

    snip…

    EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently delivered a scientific opinion on any possible epidemiological or molecular association between TSEs in animals and humans (EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) and ECDC, 2011). This opinion confirmed Classical BSE prions as the only TSE agents demonstrated to be zoonotic so far but the possibility that a small proportion of human cases so far classified as “sporadic” CJD are of zoonotic origin could not be excluded. Moreover, transmission experiments to non-human primates suggest that some TSE agents in addition to Classical BSE prions in cattle (namely L-type Atypical BSE, Classical BSE in sheep, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) agents) might have zoonotic potential.

    snip…

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/e991.htm?emt=1

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/e991.pdf

    see follow-up here about North America BSE Mad Cow TSE prion risk factors, and the ever emerging strains of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy in many species here in the USA, including humans ;

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2011/10/efsa-journal-2011-european-response-to.html

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Seven main threats for the future linked to prions

    First threat

    The TSE road map defining the evolution of European policy for protection against prion diseases is based on a certain numbers of hypotheses some of which may turn out to be erroneous. In particular, a form of BSE (called atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), recently identified by systematic testing in aged cattle without clinical signs, may be the origin of classical BSE and thus potentially constitute a reservoir, which may be impossible to eradicate if a sporadic origin is confirmed.

    ***Also, a link is suspected between atypical BSE and some apparently sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. These atypical BSE cases constitute an unforeseen first threat that could sharply modify the European approach to prion diseases.

    Second threat

    snip…

    http://www.neuroprion.org/en/np-neuroprion.html

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    MAD COW ATYPICAL CJD PRION TSE CASES WITH CLASSIFICATIONS PENDING ON THE RISE IN NORTH AMERICA

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2011/03/mad-cow-atypical-cjd-prion-tse-cases.html

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center Cases Examined1 (August 19, 2011) including Texas

    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/02/national-prion-disease-pathology.html

    kind regards,
    terry

  11. Chris Daley says:

    Nothing in this world is better than a thick juicy medium well cooked Kansas City strip with A1 sauce or perhaps BBQ. Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.

  12. JOHN BROSE says:

    IT’S SIMPLE. YOU CANNOT REASON WITH AN EXPERT !!!TELL YOUR KIDS NOT TO EAT ANY OF THE BEEF THE SCHOOL FEEDS THEM AND LET THE USDA , WHICH HAS A CONTRACT TO BUY $111,000,000 WORTH OF PINK SLIME (WITH OUR MONEY ) AND FEED IT TO THE EXPERTS. I’M SICK AND TIRED OF COMPANY’S CUTTING CORNERS TO MAKE A BUCK….

  13. Nemo Tubesteak says:

    Dr. Hagen ignores the real question — “is it beef?” It definitely is *not* beef according to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 9, Animals and Animal Products, Volume 2, Section 319.15 — see http://1.usa.gov/fbLev9

    According to § 319.15(a), chopped beef and ground beef *cannot* contain LFTB.
    According to § 319.15(b), hamburger *cannot* contain LFTB.
    According to § 319.15(c), beef patties *can* contain LFTB.

    It is fraud to put LFTB in something and call it chopped beef, ground beef, or hamburger [period].

  14. Marcie says:

    Will all of you who have so little faith in our food system, from the farmer to USDA, please move to another country and bother them. It’s too bad your extensive education has left you with so little common sense. Your misguided beliefs will only allow those of who can to feed ourselves and force you to pay more for a food supply that isn’t any safer, has less taste and far from healthy. Thank you for your concerns.

  15. Mary says:

    What I REALLY want to know is this: Does the same amount of LFTB (lb for lb) provide the same amounts of protein, iron, and other nutrients that we get from pure ground beef? I can understand that it’s probably non-fat, but what about the nutrients that we expect to get from it? Does adding in LFTB water down the protein, iron, etc. that we expect to receive when we eat ground beef?

  16. Randy says:

    There are individuals in the United States of America that have chosen to raise food for consumption. There is no conspiracy. The USDA and FDA monitor the food that enters the food chain to ensure it is safe. These two organizations work for you. No one tells YOU what to buy or where to buy it. I am sure if you research you will find locally grown, unprocessed, unmonitored food stuffs that is ready for your consumption.

    I for one will continue to rely on the monitoring process USDA and FDA that ensures that safety is job one.

    Remember, no one has a contract with YOU nor has the responsibility to feed YOU. You are personally responsible to obtain your own nutrition. And, you may do that in whatever way YOU feel most comfortable.

  17. Kevin says:

    Dr. Hagen,

    Your missing the point here. Consumers want to know what is in their food. They don’t want ‘fillers’ in their food, without it being labeled.

  18. Miki Wright says:

    “Choosing what food to serve at your kitchen table is a very personal decision, and thankfully we have many choices at the grocery store that fit a variety of budgets.” How about giving us a choice and labeling it. Also labeling GMO products? And doing something about the word “natural” on labels. Complete and truthful labels give us a REAL choice to make a personal decision on what to serve at our kitchen tables.

    If they never label it, no one will know it is there and will keep buying it. That is what they are hoping for. It must be truthfully labeled, and not by naming it something cute like “pink meat special.” They are promoting the beef producers with no regard for the consumer’s right to know, or well-being. Not all scientists agree that this is safe to eat. Or that GMO’s are safe either. Or pesticide residue. The government is stacked with Factory Ag and GMO employees. I can find a scientist with an opposing opinion for every scientist you can find promoting it. And how much do you want to bet that your scientist is on the payroll of someone who benefits from the sale of these products? We have a right to true and complete labels on our food. If they can find room to put on salt content, and the High Fructose Corn Syrup (or even the re-named corn sugar) and wheat content and every other content, they can find room for “finely textured beef product, and GMO.

  19. Gregory Bloom says:

    I grew up on a farm and we raised most of our own meat and vegetables. This new panic on LFTB is a result of what happens when people forget where food comes from. My German Grandfather cut every scrap of fat, muscle and cartilage off the beef bones and made… Sausage! To call it “pink slime” is an attempt to discredit its use and discredit the USDA’s approval of it by a select group of people who want to direct food policy for the rest of the world. But if if bothers you to eat this product I am glad you can make an informed choice and perhaps eat “Brown Slime” or Peanut Butter for your protein. Much of the starving world would love to have some beef for dinner, whether in a hamburger made with LFTB or any other form. Just so happens that saving all those small pieces beef through an innovative process makes beef more affordable for many, including schools who oh by the way buy their beef from what…? local supplier? No cheapest bidder… Let’s not limit the access to safe proteins by people who want and need affordable proteins based on our spectacularly dramatic reality TV news shows that appeal to viewers and advertisers with incomplete biased reporting and outright lies everyday. Are we all really this gullible and easily spooked? Ah…… Yes. And if the Ammonia used to kill e-coli bothers us, then we as consumers can and should insist that that the USDA/FSIS should stop having beef plants use such interventions for food safety and we’ll take our chances with Ecoli in beef. We will all just eat safe foods like tomatoes and cantaloupe…

  20. Mary says:

    Know what you are eating.

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/fsisdirectives/10010_1/ecolio157h7dirguid4-13-04.pdf

    Raw ground beef components include raw esophagus (weasand) meat, head meat, and cheek meat; beef manufacturing trimmings (e.g., 90/10, 85/15, 75/25, 65/35, 50/50); boneless beef; beef from AMR systems; and lean finely textured beef (LFTB).

    Raw beef patty components include all products listed above in raw ground beef components; as well as partially defatted chopped beef (PDCB); finely textured PDCB; heart; and partially defatted beef fatty tissue (PDBFT).

  21. kristin MOM says:

    i live in a community that provides lean beef trimmings..it is 100% beef nothing more nothing less. educate yourselves and you will find that it is NOT PS…it is NOT an additive…it is NOT a filler…it is what it is – BEEF. I feel extremely confident that this product is lean, healthy, nutritious and safe and you should have no qualms about feeding it to your family. This is nothing more that a media frenzy and a slimy one at that!!! Get the facts!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDiPjmsKeh8&sns=fb

  22. Paula says:

    I agree with Anne and Randy Dutton. How can we make a personal decision about our food when we are being deceived? I am so disappointed that the USDA considers the LFTB safe. Who wants to eat food treated with amonia? As for the comment that those of us who dont like it should move to another country..I am thanful in the USA I am free to be disappointed in the USDA. You are free to use your common sense? and gobble up all the LFTB you can eat. I will certainly be limiting my consumption of any ground meat in the future now that I no longer believe it to be beneficial.

  23. jason says:

    Dr. Hagen,

    Is it true that when the USDA or FDA analyzes whether or not something is safe they use information provided by the corporations that make the “food”? Doesn’t that leave room for at least the appearance of bias?

    Also we as consumers cannot make decisions without information. Labeling is important. Not requiring “pink slime” to be labeled was clearly a concession to the meat industry. No reasonable person would think that people would not want that information.

  24. MSALLE says:

    HOWEVER, ammonia has NO effect on infectious Mad Cow prions which may be in the pink slime wastes:

    To prevent the spread of Mad Cow prion disease, slaughterhouses are required to remove “SRM” – specified risk materials- the parts of a cow known to harbor the highest concentrations of prions. SRM include the skull, the brain, trigeminal ganglia and eyes, the tonsils, and the spinal cord and the vertebral column including the dorsal root ganglia, spinal vertebrae, all of the spinal cord tissue and the small intestine. Power tools, including chain saws, are used to cut up the carcasses.. It is unavoidable that potentially prion infected wastes from high risk tissues end up on the blood-soaked slaughterhouse floors – to be incorporated into the pink slime

  25. Amel Kantarevic says:

    Here is a good website for facts about LFTB.
    http://www.beefisbeef.com

  26. lee Elder says:

    Yeah, reckon she was ordered to say this or was paid to or both.

  27. Sal Balistreri says:

    Dr.Hagen,
    Amonia in our food and in food that is very popular with our kids. I am very disappointed with the FDA.Special interest groups are controling this country at the betrayl of the general public. Stop pink slime now make sure pink slime in add to the ingredients.

  28. D says:

    Dr. Hagen,

    If “pink slime” is innocuous, why are you refusing to answer any questions from the media about the issue? According to ABC News, they have been trying to get you to answer questions about the issue for three weeks; you have declined, claiming a “tight schedule.” This seems ludicrous and frankly irresponsible — why would you not take a few minutes and simply answer a few simple questions, if you are so confident about the safety of this product? Seems like a complete lack of accountability on the part of the agriculture industry and the government agencies which are covering for them.

  29. Andrew Revkin says:

    I’m really glad to see you split the discussion over food safety from the one over food sources. A vital starting point for reasoned discourse is clarifying points of divergence. I wrote on this on my Dot Earth blog at The New York Times today:

    Why I’m O.K. with ‘Pink Slime’ in Ground Beef: http://nyti.ms/H88USh

  30. La Guerita says:

    I work for said agency, and to all of you who complain about your food, 3 words! Don’t eat it!! LFTB is beef that has been through a “centrifuge” type machine to pull off all the tissue (meat) that was unable to be removed by the establishment’s employees by the use of knives. I ask you, have any of you that are so upset about this “pink slime” ever worked in a processing plant, do you have any idea of all the interventions a company takes to ensure that their product is wholesome and safe? Do you have no confidence in the officials that you elected to manage YOUR USDA? Yes, that’s right, we work for you! We work for every man, woman and child here in the US to ensure that what you so callously put in your mouth, and then complain about is safe. You want all natural, go out in the field and kill a cow and eat it! There’s no interventions for food safety there! You wouldn’t do that, would you? And yet here you all are, with the audacity to question the effectiveness of the USDA in ensuring the safety of the food YOU CHOOSE to buy. You think you can do a better job, GO FOR IT!!!!!!
    As for the labeling, there are specific requirements for labeling that all establishments must follow. For more information and to do some of YOUR OWN investigating visit the USDA’s website and search keywords “Code of Federal Regulation-Labeling”.
    Lastly, if you don’t like something, don’t buy it! If you are offended by something, don’t listen to it. Use common sense and quit trying to blame someone else for your decisions on what to put into YOUR MOUTH!!

  31. Sara Monte says:

    Dr. Hagen,
    As a Consumer Safety Inspector I constantly read FSIS Directives, Notices, and CFR’s so I’m familiar with what is required and allowed to be shipped into commerce. I am a mother of four and find that most people are ignorant of what the USDA’s role is in our society’s food supply. Don’t take some people’s uneducated ramblings personally. The problem is that rumors tend to be spread and believed faster than actual scientific truths. It’s a shame that society has succumb to what is provided via various non scientific websites rather than the website that IS avaialable for ALL public consumers; http://www.fsis.usda.gov. Keep up the good work!

  32. Ken says:

    If you believe in consumer choice, then why didn’t you require them to list it as an ingredient on the package? Free-markets means the government not giving companies a free-pass on purposely misleading labels. My ground sirloin had up to 15% (by your standards) of stuff that wasn’t sirloin at all… you gave them a pass to lie to us, that inherently eliminated our ability to make an informed choice.

  33. amel says:

    visit http://www.beefisbeef.com for facts on LFTB

  34. J Cobb says:

    I personaly don’t want ammonia in my food either, however E.coli 0157:H7 i can do without. It’s amazing to me how many people believe whatever the T.V. tells them without finding out for themselves. We’ve been eating LFTB for years, it’s safe, reliable, and effective in preventing, or eliminating pathogenes also it’s used in a gas state NOT liquid in a washing machine! Now if we could just use ammonia hydroxide on MSNBC and other panic reporting new stations maybe Americans would be safe from brainwashing propaganda.

  35. J Cobb says:

    Oh! By te way there is 10 times the amount of ammonia hydroxide used in the processing of TOFU! Enjoy Veggie Heads.

  36. J Cobb says:

    @MSALLE You obviously don’t work in a slaughter plant! All equipment used to cut through SRM’s have built in water sterilizers that clean the equipment as used. SRM’s in under thirty month cows are only the lingual and palatine tonsils of the head. Over thirty months are all that you wrote. They are unavoidable prions, they are inspected to make sure no SRM’s make it into commerce. And by the way downers have not been slaughtered and given to consumers, i like how no proof is given for these statements, just your word! Work at a slaughter house before you write such propoganda.

  37. Karen says:

    If you are ignorant to think that ammonium hydroxide is only in beef, take into consideration that it is widely used in baking products, vegetables, and most of our other food sources! In fact, every part of a bacon cheeseburger has ammonium hydroxide in it – and the beef and bacon have the lowest amounts!

    LFTB is 100% beef and
    processed from beef
    trimmed from steaks
    and roasts.
    The process removes
    the fat from the meat,
    resulting in a 94-97%
    lean beef.
    Ammonium hydroxide
    is only one part of
    the robust food safety
    system.
    Ammonium hydroxide
    is found naturally in all
    proteins we eat — plant
    or animal — and one of
    its roles is to prohibit
    bacteria from forming
    Ammonium hydroxide is
    widely used in everyday
    cooking from baking
    powder to cheese to
    chocolate.

    To provide perspective,
    ammonium hydroxide-based
    compounds can be found in
    every component of a bacon
    cheeseburger (bun, bacon,
    cheese, condiments, and
    beef) between the naturally
    occurring levels and small
    amounts used to make food
    safer.

    Bun — 2 oz = 50 mg
    (440 ppm*)
    Bacon — 1 oz = 16 mg
    (160 ppm)
    Condiments — 2 oz = 50 mg
    (400 ppm)
    Cheese — .8 oz = 38 mg
    (813 ppm)
    Beef — 1.6 oz = 20 mg
    (200 ppm)

  38. Scott says:

    Quote: “Setting the Record Straight on Beef”

    - How about setting the LABELING straight on products?

    Quote: “Lean Finely Textured Beef” (LFTB)

    - That’s an extremely deceptive, money-loving marketing-based name (no-one will ever suspect the true process and source with THAT name).

    IT SHOULD BE CALLED AMMONIA TREATED BY-PRODUCTS (ATBP).

    Because that’s exactly what it is.

    Quote: “Your misguided beliefs will only allow those of who can to feed ourselves and force you to…”

    - The misguided and deceptive “lean” “finely” “textured” (oh, it’s “textured” that sounds gourmet) waste-by-product name will only continue to deceive people.

    Quote: “These two organizations work for you. No one tells YOU what…”

    - Right, NO-ONE tells the public that LFTB is ACTUALLY AMMONIA TREATED BY-PRODUCT.

    Quote: “My German Grandfather cut every scrap of fat, muscle and cartilage off the beef bones and made…”

    - After all the “trimming” it sounds like he made something that is NOT pure beef, and did he label it? Did he call it BEEF? Was he being DECEPTIVE about it? Did he CALL IT WHAT IT WAS?

    Quote: “I feel extremely confident that this product is lean, healthy, nutritious and safe…”

    - AND disguised under a deceptive name it should be called AMMONIA TREATED BY-PRODUCTS. Just how many people would accept it, if it were called by WHAT IT IS.

    Quote: “It’s a shame that society has succumb to what is provided via various non scientific websites rather than…”

    - It’s a shame that society has succumbed to a deceptive, money-promoting name like “Lean Finely Textured Beef” I mean, wow, it’s “fine” and “textured” wow – sounds gourmet, instead of what it should be called: AMMONIA TREATED BY-PRODUCT.

    Quote: “Now if we could just use ammonia hydroxide on MSNBC and other panic reporting new stations maybe Americans would be safe from brainwashing propaganda.”

    - How about “fine” “textured” – seems like that has brainwashed people by the hundreds of millions the past two decades.

    Recent News Quote: “The labels…phrases like “Contains Lean Finely Textured Beef,” “Contains Finely Textured Beef,” or “Contains Lean Beef Derived from Beef Trimmings” could begin appearing any day, said Aaron Lavallee, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

    The deceptive naming continues, I mean, that’s right, you have to use a deceptive name, otherwise the entire by-product process would not be accepted by the general public.

    Wow, it’s “textured” it’s “fine” – not a word about the process or the fact that it’s a by-product. No words like “treated” or “ammonia” or “by-product” or “filler” in the name, gee, thanks for the “honesty” — P.S. smaller pictures please.

  39. Debbie says:

    Listing LFTB on meat labels should be mandatory. As a consumer, I have the right to know what is in a product and make an informed decision about eating it. I don’t care that the USDA thinks it is a safe product. I would not have ingested the LFTB if I had known it was in the product. Unfortunately, the pathogens in ground beef come from the processing and artificial diet of today’s beef cattle. Cows were meant to eat grass and not the grains they are given. Antibiotics and hormones are routinely used and add to the problem.

  40. Sara Monte says:

    ……This is for all the people that read this blog……..When will AMERICANS stop pointing fingers and get educated on how their food goes from farm to table? If people are this concerned over their food then they should learn! The FSIS is working harder and longer with LESS MONEY to succeed in providing safe, wholesome, meat and poultry products to every consumer. Belittling the agency that has an enormous amount of rules and regulations in place to ensure this safety just shows how much more consumer education needs to be done. As technologically advanced as we are today there are still too many people that rely on half truths, twisted words, and self serving propoganda. Everyone needs to wake up! The FSIS is here to HELP the CONSUMER!! Please do everyone a favor…stop accusing us (the USDA) of not labeling correctly when you know NOTHING of labeling requirements which is extremely extensive, stop assuming that the meat products you’re eating is not meat and go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov for up to date ACCURATE information for BOTH the consumer AND the manufacturer.

  41. Benighted Consumer says:

    I’m furious!!! HOW DARE the USDA allow packers to add 100% beef to our ground beef without labeling it?!? If I wanted 100% beef, I’d buy 100% beef. When I pay good money for ground beef, I do NOT expect it to be secretly adulterated with 100% beef.

    I want this fixed ASAP! Until then, I’m going to only buy ground beef from sources that pledge not to add 100% beef. So there! (Sticking out tongue with “Nyaah” sound)

  42. Jimbo says:

    Back in the 70′s I was a quality control inspector at a food processing plant for one of the largest companies in
    America.

    What everyone should understand is that the manufacturer is the prime line of defense for food quality. The USDA inpector only showed-up once a week.

    The number one concern of a plant manager is to produce product. The production managers reporting to the plant manager share this mindset.

    Quality control departments only have the authority to shut down production lines for the most egregious problems.

    The only time I had the power to do this was when when the sewers backed-up. And, I received a considerable amount of blowback for doing this!

    You wouldn’t believe the stuff that goes on in these factories. After a couple of frustrating years trying to do the right thing, I changed careers.

    The bottom line is to avoid any processed food. And this includes ground anything. You can still get sick from real food. But, the odds are much lower.

  43. J Cobb says:

    Good Job Karen. Way to go!

  44. Ray Bennett says:

    Who is watching out for the quality of ground products? While LFTB may not be harmful,it has renderd most sausage products inedable.After eating pork sausage,bratwurst,smo.sausage an ground beef you have a mouthfull of grisel.AKA..LFTB.When a product is cooked and it doubles in volum, this can only mean it is full of connective tissue.
    If you are in the age group of twenty to fifty you are being the victom of fraud,because you don’t know what good ground products should be.It should consist of nice red muscle trimings snd the proper amount of seasoning.Meat packers have everything going for them,The population that has good food knowlege have passed and the modern consumer thinks only that a burger should only be round and handed to you threw a window.
    This is a cry for help for those of us that know the meat packers should not skimp on spices because they are expensive.An should not overload the product with shank meat,cheek meat and hocks.

  45. J Cobb says:

    @Scott: You only know what you know from the T. V. Stop plagerizing the news and do some homework.

  46. elizabeth floyd says:

    Dr, Hagen, “LFTB is safe”? Is that all you have to say? Why should we accept your statement when you provide absolutely no evidence to support it? If you won’t directly tell us why it is safe, then at least post links to peer reviewed randomized control trials that support your conclusion. Most medical journals are not difficult to understand. Thank you.

    Also, if anyone knows of a link to videos showing the actual processing of LFTB, I would appreciate it, since cleanliness and cruelty will also affect my decision regarding whether or not to eat the meat. Isn’t it sad that we must rely on external sources such as Youtube to supply us with information regarding where our food comes from and what is in it?

  47. Harold Lockyear says:

    Just stop eating beef!

  48. Steve Shen says:

    I just want to know why, if the USDA is so confident in the safety of this process, that it’s okay for ammonia to not be printed on the packages of beef where it’s an ingredient. Why the secrecy? If they want public acceptance of this product then they should be 100% transparent with it, easy.

  49. Stephen says:

    So pink slime is safe and nutritious, but real haggis is still banned. Very credible.

  50. VANESSA says:

    So, if it is so safe for consumption, then why not require tat companies list it if it is an ingredient?? I’m sure that most of the public would just like to be informed!!!

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