Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News, Inc. for defamation Thursday over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime."
You may want to check the ground beef in your refrigerator.
Seventy percent of the ground beef consumers buy at the supermarket contains something called "pink slime." That's according to Gerald Zirnstein, a former United States Department of Agriculture scientist turned whistleblower.
Pink slime is beef trimmings. Once only used in dog food and cooking oil, the trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia so they are safe to eat and added to most ground beef as cheaper filler.
It was Zirnstein who, in an USDA memo, first coined the term "pink slime" and is now coming forward to say he won't buy it.
"It's economic fraud," Zirnstein told ABC News. "It's not fresh ground beef, it's a cheap substitute being added in."
Zirnstein said he warned against using what the industry calls "lean finely textured beef," but his government bosses overruled them. He now grinds his own hamburger.
The nation's school districts are turning up their noses at "pink slime," the beef product that caused a public uproar earlier this year.
The microbiologist who coined the term for lean finely textured beef ran through a few iterations in his head before pressing send on an email to a co-worker at the U.S. Department of Agriculture a decade ago.
Butchers are seeing a rise in business after the pink slime controversy. We comparison shop prices to show you meat options that won't break the bank.
Meat labels don't tell you much, so can you tell where it came from just by looking at it? Take our test.
The meat industry has taken a lot of heat lately about so-called pink slime, but it turns out it has another dirty secret: meat glue.