Bloomberg News

Beef Price May Rise on ‘Pink Slime’ Hysteria, Perry Says

March 29, 2012

U.S. consumers may soon be paying more for beef because of misinformation about the safety of lean, finely textured beef that has been dubbed “pink slime” by food activists, Texas Governor Rick Perry said.

Retailers who stop using the product at a time when the size of the Texas herd of beef cattle is at an all-time low because of the state’s record drought is a “formula for a fairly significant price hike in beef for no valid reason,” Perry said today during a press conference in South Sioux City, Nebraska. The product is made of beef trim and treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens.

Beef Products Inc. has temporarily suspended output of the product at three plants because of consumer concerns. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said yesterday that the meat is safe to eat.

Beef is a $7.5 billion industry in Texas, according to Perry, who spoke at the press conference with state leaders including governors Terry Branstad of Iowa and Sam Brownback of Kansas. Eldon and Regina Roth, the co-founders of Beef Products, were also in attendance.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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