Organic Consumers Association

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Politicians Swallow Pink Slime to Prove Their Allegiance to Corporations

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page, Food Safety Research Center page, and our Iowa News page.
A trio of governors and a duo of lieutenant governors last week dined on pink slime burgers and pronounced them mouth-wateringly-delicious-and-nutritious as TV cameras rolled on their barbeque in a Nebraska factory that manufactures the stuff.

Shoppers have reacted somewhat differently to pink slime secreted into their hamburger, so much so that three national supermarket chains stopped using it, and an Iowa grocer now offers both slimed and unslimed burger.

The politicians insisted that identifying slimed beef is not necessary, or even wise, because the fabricated-sans-fat- smashed-meat-scraps-seasoned-with-ammonia mixture is more nutritious. It's so great that announcing its presence on the burger label is unnecessary, the politicians insisted.

The governors and lieutenant governors chose to champion not consumers but slime producers. The reason is obvious. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who organized the slime plant tour and barbeque, got $150,000 in campaign contributions in 2010 from the factory's founders. Rather than rally to the public, too many politicians prostitute themselves to corporations. Thus, American workers have a government that incongruously rewards corporations that ship jobs overseas. Somewhere the government of the people, by the people, for the people got lost.

Just as in the case of pink slime, the interests of flesh-and-blood people and corporations frequently conflict. In those instances, a government of the people, by the people, for the people should take their side. But a government run by politicians constantly hounding corporate campaign contributions often fails to favor flesh-and-blood people. 

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