Congresswoman Chellie Pingree introduced a bill today that would require products containing pink slime to indicate that on the label. The Requiring Easy and Accurate Labeling of Beef Act (REAL Beef Act) would require any beef containing 'finely textured ground beef' to have a label at the final point of sale.
"Consumers have made it pretty clear they don't want this stuff in their food," Pingree said. "If a product contains connective tissue and beef scraps and has been treated with ammonia, you ought to be able to know that when you pick it up in the grocery store."
The product, called 'finely textured lean beef trimmings' by the beef industry, has been the subject of a grassroots effort to get it out of school lunches. Over a quarter of a million people recentlysigned an online petition calling for an end to serving pink slime in schools, and dozens of Pingree's colleagues in the House signed her letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack asking that the government stop buying the product for school lunches.
"This is about choice and transparency. Parents and consumers want to choose whether or not they serve pink slime but they can't do that unless they know whether or not it's in the product they are buying," Pingree said.
Pingree introduced her bill yesterday with ten co-sponsors, including Representatives Van Hollen, McCollum, Kucinich, Lee, Holmes-Norton, Holt, Ryan, Schiff, Lewis and Schakowsky.