Gov. Terry Branstad is defending an Iowa company on Twitter.
BPI announced it could lay-off workers in the wake of a public backlash against its lean beef trimmings, known also as “pink slime”. The company is the largest producer of lean beef trimmings in the nation.
The beef product is made by separating lean beef from fat on USDA approved beef trimmings. The lean beef is then treated with ammonia to kill bacteria.
The product is safe and FDA approved and has been mixed with ground beef for decades.
The product has recently come under fire after a national media report and social networking fueled ground beef boycotts. That in turn led some buyers, including Hy-Vee, to ban the product from its shelves.
With sales plummeting, BPI laid off 200 employees at its Waterloo plant this week.
Gov. Branstad is urging Iowans to stand by BPI. The governor tweeted "We will support BPI with science and facts, not smears" and “there is a real human cost to the false claims being made about BPI and its products."