The price tag for the "pink slime" debacle is growing.
On March 26 Beef Products Incorporated, a big producer of lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) announced it was temporarily closing three of its four plants.
Company president and CEO Eldon Roth said he would continue to pay full salaries of employees but that is a tremendous expense and unless the scandal blows over quickly I fear for the future of this company.
Earlier this week, Reuters news service reported ground beef processor AFA Foods filed for bankruptcy protection, citing the impact of the "pink slime" debacle.
Documents filed in the company's bankruptcy papers said AFA is one of the largest ground beef processors in the United States and produces more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products annually.
AFA is based in Pennsylvania and has plants in four other states. It has about 850 full-time employees. In December 2011 it had annual revenue of $958 million.
AFA said it has $219 million in assets and $197 million in liabilities and has secured a commitment for $56 million in debtor-in-possession financing from lenders.
It's proof that ignorance is expensive.
It also proves that ignorance hurts more than just those who possess it.
Meanwhile, a group calling itself Care2 posted this cheery synopsis of its handiwork on its website:
"And guess what? With pink slime becoming universally shunned, the makers of this unappetizing industrialized food product are suffering financially."
After mentioning the layoffs and how much "pink slime" the shuttered plants produced the author of this diatribe concludes: "That’s a whole lot of pink slime – good riddance."
Considering the safety record of this product, it's proven record as a quality food product, and its value to the beef industry, I wonder what kind of person could call this "good riddance."
It only serves to remind me what Pfizer veterinarian Greg Quakenbush said in a very well-put presentation I saw him give a few weeks ago:
"I think what's really under attack in this country is truth."
Indeed. And as I said a couple weeks ago, the "pink slime" panic is also a sign of the selfish times. People have come to believe their personal thoughts, every jerk of their knee or twinge of negative thought, should be indulged regardless of damage or cost to others. The individual rules. To heck with society.
Some of us were raised to believe that was a fundamental explanation of sin.
More news on the "pink slime" furor over lean, finely textured beef
Four governors toured the Nebraska plant and declared their support for LFTB.
BPI's website has some of those stories linked, as well as a very interesting article on the positive outcome of multiple taste tests for ground beef with LFTB blended in.