Consumer Deception or Unwarranted Product Disparagement? The Case of Lean, Finely Textured Beef
When celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used his television presence to denounce the inclusion of lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) in ground beef products sold to consumers and present in school lunches, a firestorm of protests ensued. Ultimately, processing plants were closed, employees laid off, school lunch programs were changed to exclude LFTB from their menus, and large retailers such as Costco and Walmart refused to sell products containing LFTB. Calls for mandatory labeling were proposed in Congress, the argument being that consumers had a right to know what was in the beef they were purchasing and feeding their families. Dubbed "pink slime" by its critics, LFTB is treated, processed beef renderings that are derived from trimmings that would otherwise be discarded or used for some inferior purpose such as animal food. This article chronicles the events surrounding the LFTB controversy, briefly reviews scientific evidence pertaining to its safety, and reviews public policy initiatives in the wake of public protests. © 2014 Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University.
Business and Society Review
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Adams. (2014). Consumer Deception or Unwarranted Product Disparagement? The Case of Lean, Finely Textured Beef. Business and Society Review (1974), 119(2), 221–246. https://doi.org/10.1111/basr.12031