Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus, today issued the following statement after it was reported Beef Products Inc. (BPI) would be permanently closing three of its plants which produce lean, finely textured beef(LFTB):
"The recent news BPI will be permanently laying off 650 workers due to a baseless media scare is extremely unsettling. There are real life consequences when we stray from using sound science to determine product safety," said Smith.
"I've joined many others saying lean, finely textured beef is a nutritious, safe, and affordable product which is already regulated by the USDA and FDA," added Smith. "I strongly believe the continued success of agriculture, and in turn, the long term safety and security of our nation's food supply depends on our unwavering commitment to science-based standards. Anything less is a disservice to producers, the workers earning a living, and consumers."
On April 19, 2012, Smith and 29 bipartisan Members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to inquire what steps USDA has taken to correct the public record and educate consumers about LFTB. The USDA has yet to respond.