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'Meat glue' is safe and natural, American Meat Institute says
Los Angeles Times / ^ | May 10, 2012, 2:05 p.m. | By Tiffany Hsu

Posted on 05/10/2012 6:22:54 PM PDT by thecodont

The American Meat Institute is striking back at reports that “meat glue,” a binding agent often used to patch together pieces of beef and other protein, is unsafe and unnatural.

In an occasionally touchy conference call Thursday, the trade group said that the USDA considers such substances to be safe and requires its presence to be noted on retail labels. The product, however, isn’t always disclosed when it’s served at restaurants and other food service outlets, experts said.

But using the binding substance to weave together high-quality cuts such as filet mignon with lower-priced meat such as chuck steak is “patently illegal,” said Mark D. Dopp, the institute’s general counsel.

Such "Frankenstein" meat would be easily discernible to diners and not condoned by the industry, he said.

Not long after the “pink slime” outcry and the reemergence of mad cow disease, concerns about meat glue have the industry back on defense.

California state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) recently called on the USDA to investigate such products, including options made by Fibrimex and Ajinomoto North America.

Ajinomoto uses transglutaminate, a “ubiquitous enzyme found in nature, basically every animal, in our tissues, in plants, trees and vegetables,” the company's Senior Vice President Brendan Naulty said on the conference call. Besides its meat applications, it is also used in products such as bread, yogurt and imitation crab.

Fibrimex uses fibrinogen and thrombin proteins, which company representative Christiaan Penning said was “designed by nature … but used in a more intelligent way.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: engineeredfood; meatglue; meatindustry
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To: unkus

Yep, organic it is. Or buy stew meat and grind your own. I don’t trust some stores to be honest. I had been buying the 93% lean ground beef for the past 3 years for meatloaf. I have a pan that has a rack in it to keep the loaf up out of the grease and let it drain.

Early on I had very little liquid in the bottom of the pan. So little that it would all be in one corner and would bake on and the loaf didn’t pull away from the sides of the pan.

The last few times, there is about half an inch of liquid that covers the hole bottom of the pan, plus the loaf shrinks a LOT. About a half inch gap on all sides. The worst thing is that it doesn’t even taste the same. The store claims they don’t use the pink slime, but I don’t believe them. They don’t have to list it, so I think they think that the consumer will not figure it out.

41 posted on 05/10/2012 7:46:44 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come.)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

“Good point. People want go off half cocked about the latest scare”

It is strange to me that it is even a scare. No one has been reported to be harmed, have they?

42 posted on 05/10/2012 7:47:21 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: muir_redwoods

Read Upton Sinclairs, “The Jungle.”

43 posted on 05/10/2012 7:58:12 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: gorush

Just eat kosher meat if you are concerned about the meat you eat.

44 posted on 05/10/2012 7:59:44 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: kingu; Doe Eyes
“It is only because of the USDA that these are even commonly used.”

Are you nuts? Did you ever buy food in a country without any enforced food standards? Do you know about the state of the food industry, especially meat packing and processing, just before standards were established?

In many other countries food is routinely spoiled or made with stuff that you would never want to know about. No labels, no expiration dates. Whatever the shopkeeper or streetpeddler writes on his sign or tells you is all you know. In some countries, the only place to get untainted food is to grow your own or go to overpriced tourist restaurants.

It's a dilemma for me because I'm for very small government and less corrupt blood-sucking alphabet agencies. You can see it in your example of how certain percentages of garbage are permitted to be pushed on us by arbitrary USDA standards.

However, because of the massive growth of cities and much greater travel, many people cannot rely on growing their own food or knowing the farmer personally to take complete personal responsibility for it. Those people depend on commercial farmers for their survival. The same thing with standards for commercial water: everyone can't have their own well anymore. If you don't mandate any standards for safety and monitoring origins of food, you get many injured and dead people through no choice of their own. A misplaced drop of peanut oil can kill some people. I almost died once by drinking a tainted soda in Ukraine.

I think some kind of standards have to be there unless you consider cities and long-term travel to be bad because you can't take full personal responsibility. That's a whole other debate...

45 posted on 05/10/2012 8:00:58 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: thecodont

It is made from beef clotting agents, which you eat anytime you eat meat.

My only issue is if I pay for a steak, I want to know if it is really stew meat formed together.

46 posted on 05/10/2012 8:12:23 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: thecodont
A few thoughts here on the "pink slime" outcry with some sourced material :

In December 2009, the NYT ran a lengthy article on LFTB. Deep in the article was a line taken from an email sent by a disgruntled USDA fellow in 2002, and obtained through a simple FOIA request, that referred to the stuff as “pink slime.”

Later on in April 2011, TV cook Jamie Oliver did a segment on LFTB that was pretty over the top, most notably by taking hamburger and pouring liquid ammonia on it from a gallon jug labeled with a skull and crossbones.

Fast forward to March of this year. ABC News begins running a series of “investigative” reports on the stuff, including interviews with the author of the 2002 USDA email, and hammering on “pink slime” as the most fun thing a TV reporter could say on-air that week.

The result: most fast food restaurants that used the stuff for a decade or longer with zero complaints and zero health/safety problems announced they would stop using the stuff. A lot of grocery stores followed suit. USDA, which provides hamburger to a lot of School Lunch Programs is letting schools opt-out of using the stuff and many are. In the meat industry, hundreds of people have already been laid-off and one company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the firestorm. Meat prices are already rising. Cash-strapped schools will pay more money for fattier, less healthful hamburger. People struggling on the margins to put food on the table will be socked with higher grocery bills.

Consumers Deserve Choice in Food Decisions Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) offers low-cost, nutritious and safe food option for families

Some critics of LFTB are calling for its removal from the marketplace. But a review of the facts and growing consumer sentiment shows that families should have a choice in which hamburger to serve.

· LFTB is a low-cost way of adding protein to fattier ground beef

· The nutritional value of LFTB is no different than any other kind of ground beef · Even critics concede that LFTB is safe and nutritious

It’s wrong for self-serving “food snobs” to tell us what we should and should not eat. Consumers want to make informed choices and providing LFTB that is labeled accordingly, provides families with the information they need to make the choices that best meet their needs.

Consumers should be free to choose between leaner, less expensive hamburger made with LFTB, and more expensive hamburger

“Hy-Vee (grocery stores), after saying it would no longer carry the product, is now saying it will mark the products and customers can decide.” (SOURCE: Des Moines Register, April 3, 2012)

“The nation's largest grocer, Walmart, said its ground beef contains LFTB, but the supermarket giant will soon offer consumers a choice.” (SOURCE: Food Safety News, March 22, 2012)

“Tell consumers what they're buying. Give them an option. Let them make the choice.” (SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2012)

The US Department of Agriculture, the beef industry and consumer activists support labeling that gives consumers a choice in hamburger

“The USDA said this week that beef processors could affix labels on ground beef packages informing consumers that the product contained the trimmings.” (SOURCE: Des Moines Register, April 5, 2012)

“Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer cited a surge of support for the beef trimmings as a factor in the chain’s reversal of an earlier decision to take ground beef with the product off its shelves. Hy-Vee now will offer consumers a choice from separate, identified displays of ground beef.” (SOURCE: Ibid)

“’We believe USDA’s decision to allow companies to voluntarily include information on their label regarding (lean, finely textured beef) content will be an important first step in restoring consumer confidence in their ground beef,’ (Beef Products, Inc. spokesman Rich) Jochem said.” (SOURCE: Ibid)

“Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, called the labeling ‘appropriate.’ ‘We don’t have a concern about its safety, but it certainly has captured a lot of attention and showed that the level of consumer concern shows that more information is needed,’ she said. ‘And so labeling would be appropriate.’” (SOURCE: Asbury Park Press, April 5, 2012)

Safety and Nutrition

LFTB is used to improve hamburger with which it’s been blended and costs less “A study conducted last fall by a University of Arkansas student has shown Lean Finely Textured Beef, or lean beef trim, added at levels up to 20% in ground beef, improved fresh color, reduced spoilage and increased tenderness.” (SOURCE: Drover’s Cattle network, April 6, 2012)

“… tenderness, measured by the force required to cut a patty, was better in the burgers containing Lean Finely Textured Beef. In addition to shelf-life advantages and enhanced eating quality, he said there are economic benefits. ‘It reduces the cost of a pound of ground beef by about 20¢ to 25¢,’ said (University of Arkansas meat science professor Jason) Apple.” (SOURCE: Ibid)

LFTB is safe, nutritious and is used to make leaner ground beef at a lower cost “… the treatment the product received in the media was unfair because it is not only safe, but also nutritious and allows grocers to sell leaner ground beef at a lower cost. ‘It's beef, but it's leaner beef which is better for you,’ Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said. ‘We take this off the market then we end up with a fatter product that's going to cost more and is going to increase the obesity problem in this country.’” (SOURCE: ABC News, March 29, 2012)

“Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, said he didn't think the product would disappear from supermarkets. ‘It's safer, leaner and less costly,’ said Concannon, who was in Omaha last week for a regional meeting of food bank administrators. (SOURCE: Omaha World-Herald, March 27, 2012)

“’There is no question that these products are safe. It's unfortunate that voices outside of Iowa have chosen to misrepresent this product, with little concern for how it impacts the working families in our communities,” (Christie) Vilsack said. ‘I would have no problem with my children or grandchildren eating beef from BPI as part of a school lunch or other meal, as I likely have during my 38 years in classrooms across the state.’” (SOURCE: Sioux City Journal, March 28, 2012)

Beef Industry, Consumers ‘Slimed’ In Media Attack Smear campaign against beef industry a 21st century version of the Alar Apple Scare

A series of sensationalized reports by ABC News has ignited a national consumer scare over finely textured lean beef, despite the product’s long record of safety and nutrition.

· It is 95% lean beef used to make fattier hamburger leaner and healthier

· The production of this beef has been approved and repeatedly affirmed by the US Department of Agriculture

· Midwestern governors are gathering Thursday, March 29, in support of the product

· Food safety activists praise the beef and how it’s produced

· It was the focus of a 2008 Washington Post article, ‘Engineering a Safer Burger’

ABC News and others have launched a massive ‘pink slime’ scare campaign against the beef, leading to higher food costs for consumers and hundreds of lost jobs.

The ‘Pink Slime Scare’ is parallel to the 1989 Alar Apple Scare – a media-driven scare campaign to increase television ratings by smearing an industry and a safe, nutritious product. Here’s a sampling of what some critics of the media coverage are saying.

“For 30 years, (Iowa Gov. Terry) Branstad said, U.S. consumers - including he - have been eating the product that is 100 percent beef, 95 percent lean, quality beef that costs less, is healthier and is processed to kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. He and (US Agriculture Secretary Tom) Vilsack said the latest ‘scare’ is similar to past panics about apples, mad cow disease and H1N1 ‘swine flu’ that adversely affected fruit, beef and pork producers.” (SOURCE: The Lincoln Journal-Star, March 28, 2012)

“… calling their product ‘pink slime’ is completely false and incendiary. Consumers need to understand that this product is meat, period, and that the use of ammonia hydroxide in minute amounts during processing improves the safety of the product and is routinely used throughout the food industry.” (SOURCE: ‘In Defense of Food Safety Leadership,’ by Nancy Donley, Food Safety News, March 17, 2012)

“ABC has covered the story almost round the clock in recent weeks with stories on ‘World News with Diane Sawyer’ and ‘Good Morning America.’” (SOURCE: Dan Gainor on Fox News, March 23, 2012)

“ABC News has hyped its reports by using the term ‘pink slime’ 52 times in just a two-week span.” (Ibid)

“In the traditional media, ABC News ran a series of reports using the term this month. ‘This shows the impact of the social media,’ said Kevin Concannon, former director of the Iowa Department of Human Services and now Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. ‘There is absolutely no evidence that this product is unsafe, and it is low-fat.’” (SOURCE: Delaware Online, March 28, 2012)

“Although there have been no reported cases of illness or disease traced to the product, a collective revulsion factor fed by postings on Facebook, You Tube and an ABC News series prompted the widespread halt to use of a product that has been on supermarket meat counters since the early 1990s.” (SOURCE: The Des Moines Register, March 27, 2012)

“About 10 years ago, he (Beef Products, Inc. founder Eldon Roth) and his engineers began working with ammonium hydroxide, a food additive already approved by federal regulators for use in processing cheese, chocolate and soda. It also exists naturally in beef. By increasing the level of it in beef, Roth hoped to reduce its acidity and create less hospitable conditions for bacteria.” (SOURCE: The Washington Post, ‘Engineering a Safer Burger’, June 12, 2008)

“The plants have even won over some of the beef industry's harshest critics -- people such as Carol Tucker Foreman, director of the Food Safety Institute for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and Nancy Donley, the president of Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP), a group that represents victims of food-borne illness.” (Ibid)

“’USDA continues to affirm the safety… for all consumers,’ the inspection agency said in a release on Thursday, ‘and urges customers to consult science-based information on the safety and quality of this product.’” (SOURCE: The Kansas City Star, March 15, 2012)

Consumers will be paying more to put food on the table because this media scare campaign driven by shoddy journalism is forcing increased costs in the beef industry.

“Beef consumers are concerned, especially with the cost of all groceries going up right now.

‘Generally we'll buy hamburger instead of going out and buying good cuts of meat, because of the cost of it. (So if hamburger goes up) then it will definitely deter us from buying it,’ says local shopper Ruth Ann Johnson.” (SOURCE: KTVX-TV, Salt Lake City, March 28, 2012)

"Ultimately, it will be the consumer who pays for taking this safe product out of the market. The price of ground beef will rise as ranchers work to raise as many as 1.5 million more head of cattle to replace safe beef no longer consumed because of the baseless media scare.” (SOURCE: Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, News release, March 28, 2012)

American governors are standing together to defend this beef and the hundreds of families stricken by job losses caused by false, sensationalized reporting designed to drive TV ratings and scare consumers.

"This is a disservice to the beef industry, hundreds of workers who make their livings producing this safe product and consumers as a whole." (SOURCE: Joint statement by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, on behalf of South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Lawrence (KS) Journal World, March 28, 2012)

"’While lean finely textured beef was given a catchy and clever nickname in 'pink slime,' the impact of alarming broadcasts about this safe and wholesome beef product by Jamie Oliver, ABC News and others are no joke to those families that are now out of work,’ said American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle in a written statement.” (SOURCE: The Des Moines Register via USA Today, March 27, 2012)

“Doug Mead was a systems technician at BPI for five years and said that the closing will affect the community significantly. Mead said that it is difficult to find jobs in the area and that ground beef prices likely will rise from the plant closings. Mead is critical of the coverage that BPI's product has received in the media. He said that the reports of ‘pink slime’ are untrue. ‘This pink slime thing is a joke,’ Mead said. ‘But you can't fix stupid.’” (SOURCE: Garden City Telegram, March 27, 2012)

47 posted on 05/10/2012 8:12:39 PM PDT by paltz
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To: Netizen

You’re a wise shopper and know what you’re doing.

{I can tell you’re a great cook, too}.

I grew up on a ranch and we raised Black Angus cattle.

No need to say more. LOL

48 posted on 05/10/2012 8:14:45 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: kingu

I think you are a bit ignorant of how people act.

There is a reason the USDA and FDA exist. Look into history, and see what was being passed off as food before they came into being.

A “Free Market” doesn’t really exist. For one thing, the meat packers would start adding a lot more extenders (non meat products), and stop the inspection process. And they would have no reason to tell you or anyone about it.

49 posted on 05/10/2012 8:15:54 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Rio
What about "Crunchy Frog"?

50 posted on 05/10/2012 8:23:16 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: redgolum
My only issue is if I pay for a steak, I want to know if it is really stew meat formed together.

True, and if I am paying $5.00 a pound for 93% lean ground beef, it better be ground beef and not a bunch of filler. Its fraud to pawn off ammonia and scraps and charge $5.00 a pound for it!

51 posted on 05/10/2012 8:25:41 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck


52 posted on 05/10/2012 8:31:48 PM PDT by 6SJ7 (Meh.)
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To: thecodont
It's amazing, call it pink slime and meat glue and all the people are frothing at the mouth.

Call it what it is, scrapple, sausage, etc. and gelatin and all the people go yum yum.

This is the liberal push to vilify meat just like they did to smokes.

53 posted on 05/10/2012 8:36:43 PM PDT by this_ol_patriot (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner)
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To: unkus

I made chili today and two packages of ground beef in teh freezer. One was ground sirloin 10% fat ant the other was the 93% lean. The sirloin tastes better. I had made hamburgers with the 93% lean a few weeks back and they just didn’t taste right, the texture was off, too. Too fine, almost mealy.

Try ordering a steak at the restaurant and asking for ammonia to put on it. Wonder if they would look at you funny?

Not sure when they decided to make ammonia part of the food groups. We stopped eating at fast food burger joints a couple of years ago because the burgers tasted like crap. Now, we know why. Glad to see them stop.

54 posted on 05/10/2012 8:36:50 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come.)
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To: Netizen

Pink slime is only ground beef carried to an extreme. What you get isn’t “ammoniated” any more than the cookies that are commercially baked with ammonium bicarbonate leavening. (Whose practical use is pretty much restricted to tightly controlled commercial baking processes. Home ovens don’t always succeed in driving out the ammonia and the result comes out as nasty as you’d think.)

55 posted on 05/10/2012 8:37:13 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
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To: Netizen

As for me, I’d like to know where I could buy myself some packages of pink slime. Seems to me it would make a wicked meatball.

56 posted on 05/10/2012 8:39:09 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
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To: unkus

I can remember as a kid we went to some friends of our parents. And the guy was so proud to show my dad his new herd. He was taking a chance on this new breed called Black Angus. That was a long time ago.

57 posted on 05/10/2012 8:42:05 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

We don’t buy commercial cookies either. Most have trans fats up the wahoo in them. I make them from scratch. Better anyway. That way I can reduce the salt a bit if I want or lower the fat a little.

58 posted on 05/10/2012 8:46:30 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come.)
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To: varyouga
The overall risk, as estimated by the CDC, of the average American suffering ill effects from the food they eat has been estimated as being one in six, by the CDC. The number that was estimated in the 1950’s, sixty years ago, was the same - one in six.

In the past sixty years, we've regulated the heck out of just about every phase of the food stream - from farming to transport to storage and preparation. There are certification courses for food handlers, in person health inspection visits, etc, and yet, with all this regulation, the overall risk has remained unchanged. It's still a one in six chance.

Literally trillions of dollars down the drain for zero net change.

Isn't it a bit insane to continue to try the same methods, year after year after year and end up with the same results, yet somehow expect something different?

I understand what you're saying - if it wasn't for the USDA and their regulations, there would be more risk in the system. The flip side of that is that people would be less trusting of their food, and would treat it differently, and the overall risk wouldn't change, as it hasn't changed, even with all these strict regulations.

Instead, people trust expiration dates even if they see food stored or handled improperly, and not so shockingly, they get sick from it. They see servers and cooks with poor sanitary methods, but there's an inspection sign out front, so it'll be just fine - then they get sick. The regulation has served to only prevent people from exercising their own common sense, and has resulted in the same net effect.

59 posted on 05/10/2012 8:48:24 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: redgolum
I think you are a bit ignorant of how people act.

Actually, I'm taking into account how people act. With strict regulation comes strict methods of how to game the system, and that's exactly what people do.

To take a more practical example, look at mutual funds today. People will invest in them, not knowing at all what they are investing in, or how it is managed, simply because they trust regulators to keep everything on the up and up. And year after year, more and more people are having every penny of their savings stolen because they are trusting the regulations, and ignoring any form of common sense.

If you put a lottery machine right next to a slot machine, and ask people which has a more likely chance of giving a payoff, people will point to the state lottery time and time again - it's more regulated, it's run by the state, it of course must have better odds. If you ask them which has a higher 'rake' or taking for the house - the overhead of the game, they'll again say that the lottery is better. It's state run, they wouldn't rip us off.

Tons of accidents happen each year because people trust a stop sign to actually stop traffic, or walk out into the street because a walk sign says it's ok to go, without even looking to see that oncoming car which was running the yellow.

When you assure people that someone else is looking after their risk, any common sense goes out the window. And that's why, after sixty years of ever increasing regulation and strict guidelines, the end results of food borne illness is still the same - a one in six chance of it happening to any American each and every year.

60 posted on 05/10/2012 8:59:02 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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