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Stop Using Pink Slime in School Lunches

WASHINGTON - Statement of Nasima Hossain, U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate, on the USDA’s decision to buy 7 million pounds of ammonia treated meats for school lunches.

An article in the Huffington Post on March 5, 2012 cites the USDA buying 7 million pounds of pink slime for the national school lunch program. It is blended into hamburger patties and sausages and is being used to feed the nation’s children. Pink slim is ammonia-treated meat trimmings, that are the connective tissue, intestines and parts of the animal not used in regular beef cuts, instead of muscle; and food experts say it is not nutritionally equivalent to ground beef. It was even rejected recently by fast food corporations like McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell.

“Does the USDA really think this is the type of product that parents would knowingly want their children to eat? Parents have a right to know what is in their children’s school lunches; and the USDA should ensure that meats used for the program are high quality meats that are nutritious.”

“As a parent I would be extremely concerned to hear that my child was being fed hamburgers using meat trimmings that even fast food giants like McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell do not use anymore. The USDA should immediately re-examine their practice of using lean beef trimmings in school lunches.”


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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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