Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has called for a a congressional investigation to determine who is behind what he dubs the pink slime "smear campaign" that is maligning the good name of healthy ammonia-treated finely textured beef.
Branstad is clearly in the camp of the meat processing industry which gives generous donations to politicians, as he launches his campaign to protect the meat industry. The NY Daily News reported he said "We have a smear campaign going on against a product that is healthy and safe. If they get by with this, what other food products are they going to attack next?"Defending pink slime against its critics, which he says includes "Hollywood and the media elites" he stands firmly behind the product which consumer opinion has determined is just gross. He said "It's clear this is a safe product. It's a lean product, it helps reduce obesity and there is a spurious attack being levied against it by some groups. You can suspect who they might be. They are people who do not like meat."
The Governor has also written to fellow Governors and Lieutenant Governors urging them to back his campaign to encourage public schools, restaurants and supermarkets to continue using this fine, safe product, which plays such an important role in the war against childhood obesity. The full text of his letter can be read at the Governor Iowa website.
Digital Journal reported that ground beef processor AFA Foods filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday. Additionally the closure of Beef Products' plants in Iowa and Kansas has affected 650 jobs after it responded to public outcry over pink slime by stopping its production.
Branstad's campaign takes the line that consumers are being bullied away from this fine healthy product and he warns of the consequences to the nations health if the bullies win and the product is withdrawn. Together with the USDA he promises to advocate strongly for finely textured beef which consumers loved before they realised how it was produced.