UPDATE: Governors from three states tour BPI plant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Governors from three states tour BPI plant

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Gov. Rick Perry eats a hamburger with LFTB to show support for the product. Photo courtesy: Twitter @TerryBranstad Gov. Rick Perry eats a hamburger with LFTB to show support for the product. Photo courtesy: Twitter @TerryBranstad

Governors and from Iowa, Texas and Kansas - all states impacted by Beef Products, Inc.'s recent production suspension - gathered to tour the company's only open production plant.

Gov. Terry Branstad, Gov. Rick Perry, and Gov. Sam Brownback toured the lone remaining BPI plant in operation as a sign of support for the company.

Beef Products Inc. announced Monday that it was suspending operations at three of its four plants around the country amid a public outcry over concerns about the lean finely textured beef that has become known as "pink slime." The ammonia-treated additive has been used for more than 20 years, but recently became a target of activists seeking to have it banned.

Earlier this year, several fast food chains, including McDonald's, announced plans to stop using the product. Hy-Vee had made a similar announcement, but said this week it will sell meet with and without LFTB. Under pressure from parents, the USDA decided to allow schools the choice to pull the lean beef earlier this month.

The governors, joined by lieutenant governors from Nebraska and South Dakota, toured the production facility before holding an hour long news conference expressing their support of the product and the company. The governors also ate hamburgers made with LFTB after the news conference.

The product meets federal food safety standards, and the governors claimed it is sensational stories in the national media that have tainted the reputation of the product.

"I intend to contact every supermarket chain in the country. This is wrong. We should not make decisions based on hysteria and smear campaigns. They ought to be based on facts and knowledge," Branstad said.

Earlier this week, BPI suspended operations at its facilities in Texas and Kansas, as well as the plant in Waterloo. The suspension in Waterloo affected more than 200 employees.

 

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