Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Five Ways The Pink Slime Industry Is Buying Influence In Government

Pink slime, the ammonia-treated filler substance made with beef scraps, was once reserved for dog food before corrupted regulators changed the rules. But a recent media firestorm has reignited the controversy, leaving many people asking why the U.S.D.A. does not require groceries, school cafeterias, or restaurants to disclose which products contain the mystery meat.

Now with the battle over whether to require companies to disclose which food products contain this substance, it’s worth taking a more in-depth look at how the pink slime industry is again flexing its lobbying muscle. Last week, we introduced you to the lobbyists for the industry. Here is a list of other ways the industry is asserting itself as regulators and lawmakers reconsider how the product is labeled:

– 1. Increasing Lobbying Spending: Pink slime company Beef Products Inc. has more than quadrupled federal lobbying expenditures since 2009. Pink slime makers also lobby through the American Meat Institute, a multimillion dollar trade association that retains several firms on K Street along with its own advocacy staff.

– 2. Hiring Public Relations Firms To Aggressively Rebrand Pink Slime: Beef Products Inc. recently hired the public relations company Ketchum to lash back at critics. Republic Report has confirmed that Ketchum operates the pro-pink slime websites BeefIsBeef.com and PinkSlimeIsAMyth.com. Gaius Publius, a writer for AmericaBlog, caught anonymous commenters on his site using the same IP address who were sending readers to the Beef Products Inc. PR website.

– 3. Using Front Groups To Smear Opponents Of Pink Slime: Nancy Donley, the president of a group called Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP), has toured the country defending pink slime. Read More