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Latest Updates on Pink Slime

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

pink slime ground beef

Story at-a-glance -

  • In 2012, ABC News published an exposé that revealed a beef filler product that looked like pink slime could be found in upward of 70 percent of ground beef sold in the U.S.
  • Pink slime, technically called "lean, finely textured beef" (LFTB), is made from beef and fat trimmings that are separated in a centrifuge and treated with ammonia to kill pathogens
  • The product’s maker asked the USDA to reconsider pink slime’s classification, which led to the USDA conducting a monthslong review and quietly changing its labeling requirements
  • According to a ruling by the USDA, pink slime can now be labeled as simply “ground beef”
  • With the USDA’s decision that LFTB can simply be called “ground beef,” despite its appearance as a strange, pink playing dough-like blob, it will be even harder, if not impossible, to know whether the ground beef at your grocery store or favorite restaurant contains it
  • Sourcing your foods from a local farmer is one of the best ways to avoid pink slime and other questionable additives in your food

In 2012, ABC News published an exposé that revealed a beef filler product that looked eerily similar to pink slime could be found in upward of 70 percent of ground beef sold in the U.S. The moniker quickly took off, and ultimately cost ABC News a reported $177 million in settlement costs, after the pink slime’s maker, South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. (BPI), sued them for defamation.

The pink-colored sludge not only can still be found in ground beef but now, according to a ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), can be labeled simply as “ground beef.” Most consumers in the market for ground beef would have a hard time stomaching the idea of creating a hamburger out of this pink beef product, so why has the U.S. government greenlighted its “ground beef” label?


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