Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that he wants a congressional inquiry into what prompted uproar and controversy about a safe beef product.
The outcry over lean finely textured beef, also known by the unflattering term “pink slime”, has increasingly threatened the beef industry. BPI suspended operations at its plants in Texas, Kansas and Iowa last week due to the controversial issue, influencing at least 650 jobs.
Gov. Branstad is also accusing a Maine congresswoman for making matters worse.
Maine democratic congresswoman Chellie Pingree lead a petition drive in congress last month asking agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack to stop using the FDA approved meat in school lunches.
Pingree has introduced a bill in congress that would require any beef containing lean finely textured beef to be labeled in stores. But on her congressional website, the congresswoman refers to the meat as “pink slime.”
Gov. Branstad said the American people should not be misled by smear campaigns disseminated by social networks, and people should correct it with the facts and accurate information.
During the conference, Branstad referred to U.S. Rep. Steve King and other Iowa lawmakers and suggested that they will work together to find out who is the driving force behind the “pink slime” controversy.
“We’ve got some ideas, and we have just begun to fight. We have just begun to fight.” said Brandstad.
Gov. Branstad sent a letter to the governors of the other 49 states on Monday asking them to back lean finely textured beef.