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Reuters reports that at both the retailer and supplier levels, companies are "laboring harder than ever to meet consumers' demands for ground beef free of the ammonia hydroxide-treated filler that roiled the beef industry this spring due to health concerns even though there have been no reported cases of illness due to its consumption ... The effort has helped lift retail beef prices just ahead of the U.S. grilling season while compressing margins for beef processors who have struggled in recent years to cope with rising feed costs and falling per-capita consumption."

Some examples of what is happening:

"Leading beef producer Cargill Inc has reverted to hand-carving meat out of trimmings cut from carcasses as a way to salvage some of the lean bits and avoid grinding more expensive cuts -- part of a sector-wide scramble to replace what the industry calls 'lean, finely textured beef' (LFTB) but what has been more damningly dubbed by the media as 'pink slime'."

"Beef Products Inc, the leading U.S. producer of the beef filler, said last week that the media furor has led it to close three of its four plants and lay off 650 people."

"The hunt for a substitute has also has fueled a boom in U.S. imports, benefiting beef exporters in Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay, where cattle are grass-fed and tend to be less fat than their U.S. counterparts."
KC's View:
The companies involved would love to label the whole pink slime controversy as a media creation, but as Michael Sansolo made clear in his column here a couple of weeks ago, the popularization of the term actually emerged from the blogger community ... it was a grass roots effort, facilitated by technology.

In other words, it was the customers who found the whole notion of pink slime to be offensive. And it was a USDA food scientist who came up with the term to begin with.