Friday, March 30, 2012

Jim Avila Deserves 'Reporter of the Year' Award!

In the stuffy, confined quarters of one of the pink slime processing plants yesterday, at a major PR event to spur supermarkets back to taking the stuff, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad growled after a question by ABC News reporter, Jim Avila:

"You just DON"T GET IT! This stuff IS beef!"

What was Avila's crime to make this guy go haywire and ballistic? What so caught his attention and ire that he almost dropped his pink-slime stuffed burger into his lap?

Basically, a simple, eminently logical and rational question to the PR-spinners and their hangers-on and enablers:

"If this pink slime is so great, and real ground beef as you say, why hasn't it been sold as a stand alone item?"

Brilliant! All at once more than a dozen mouths and jaws dropped in the small camera lit room set up for the dog and pony show to feature the gubernators of 3 beef-producing states gobbling this crap. Then, Branstad snapped at the impertinence of Avila's question.

But the point is the question was spot on!

If this stuff is really "the finely textured beef" the PR meisters and Beef Product, Inc. say it is, then WHY can't it be sold stand alone? Hell, if it's that finely textured and healthy every one and his uncle ought to be lining up to buy it? Shit, why settle for ordinary ground beef when one can get the finely textured stuff? Even Kansas governor Sam Brownback asked:

"If you called it 'finely textured beef' would we still be here'?"

Well maybe not! The PR -language war would've been won by the side of the devils. The rest of us would still be gobbling this ammonia -saturated ground beef and been none the wiser. But Avila's point remains! If this filler was really a quality additive as opposed to garbage that's been recycled it would be able to be sold stand alone. Heck, it could even be labeled so in order to spike sales for this superior version.

But the truth is more sinister. The fact is that up until Avila, and ABC News exposed this additive, it wasn't even labeled on the packages of ground beef that were distributed. Consumers in a tight economy coughed up $5 a pound or more expecting that what they were buying was real ground beef, not 30% only and the remainder ground up fat, gristle and bones that ordinarily would be dog food. To me, and many Americans, if you're not labeling it then you have something to hide. And don't worry to even come back with the bollocks argument (as often used by FDA corporatists) that labeling isn't needed if the product is "essentially the same" as the real beef. Oh yes it is, because as we've seen, this additive is nowhere near the same.

So, just like Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who recently guzzled a glass of fracked water (to show it's fine for drinking) these governor clowns who gobbled pink slime in one burger, on one occasion haven't shown us anything. What we want to see is them eating them every day or at least a few times a week, to assess the havoc on their health. One PR stunt doesn't prove diddly.

As for the ammonia, the company BFI said that had to be used "to change the beef's acidity and kill bacteria". But the acidity wouldn't have to be changed if it was real, genuine quality beef - as opposed to cast- off waste crap, and the bacteria can also be killed by irradiation - which doesn't impart any chemical residue.

The bottom line here is simple: The meat producers know they're making hand over fist profits by filling packaged ground beef with this crap and hence....selling less real beef....but still collecting $5 a pound or more. It'd be like some tuna canner indiscriminately filling 30%-40% of each can with crushed fish bones, guts, gills.... and the rest with real tuna then selling it at the regular tuna price of $3 a can. Of course they wouldn't want the bandwagon to stop! Neither would the gov't agency that subsidizes them.

The funniest part of this circus? According to Larry Smith, of the Institute for Crisis Management PR firm, it's unlikely that the makers of pink slime (Cargill and BPI) will be "able to overcome the public stigma against their product".

In other words, the horrific words "pink slime" have caught on and assumed a life of their own.

Meanwhile, a number of those sitting in this PR feint, including Nebraska Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy and South Dakota Lt. Governor Matt Michels, have said this product has been "unfairly maligned".

Unfortunately, no one ever informed either of these bozos that you can't "malign" an inanimate product. It is what it is. It's not a person, has no personality or intent. The ones who need to be maligned are those that thought they could foist this cheap filler on the rest of us in economically parlous times, as if the nature of the times dictated we ought to be satisfied with glorified garbage in our food.

As for Elizabeth Hagen, the under secretary of the USDA also present at the event: When Avila approached her to ask a question she bolted, saying "No comment." Need I say more?

Anyway, kudos to ABC reporter Jim Avila for his brilliant reports on pink slime and the sterling question that exposed the PR-industrial-corporate-government axis to all and sundry! Once more, I recommend the excellent expose of the PR industry: 'Toxic Sludge is Good For You', to all readers. In the meantime, check out the website that tracks PR stunts:


yeah I said it said...

Incorrect sir bpi is a wholesaler they sell the product to people that make different leanness beefs why should they have to answer why the product had so far only been used as a mixing component? I'm guessing its because it is so lean that it would have no flavor, thus why there are different variations of meat to fat ratios..the more fat the better it tastes in most cases but also the worse it us for you...the public slammed the beef company with demand for leaner hamburger and so bpi came with an answer by using the cuts of meat that would normally go to make less lean beefs anyways ask Tyson foods what they will do with the cuts that bpi uses if bpi stops buying them from them...then about the whole drenched ammonia thing get your facts straight its ammonium hydroxide a GAS that raises Ph levels to kill Rikki and other stands of bacteria this is the same gas that is naturally created in your body at over 4 grams a day the beef only will contain 40Mg and its the same gas that's used as a leavening agent in bread the most popular food in the world and you will fund 50Mg in it there is 50Mg in every 2 ounces of ketchup or mustard there is 40Mg in cheese and it is PUFFED because it is a GAS on almost ask fresh fruits our fruits like substances such as jellies and peanut butter and all vegetables that are non organic of course...I say why the hell not keep this product around its keeping prices down when they are st all time highs during a time where the economy is nowhere to be found and its obviously safe shit we've had it over the last two decades with not one case of you really want to have to stay importing beef in from places really your going to trust your meat coming from 18 hours away but not something that is made here in the united states that I'd rigidly tested by the USDA over 7000 times in 3 years as was stated at the press conference so I'll do the math for you that would be anywhere between 6-7 times a day so all I have to say to you is why are we here why do I seem to need to point out the truths ooh because Jim avilla failed to do so before posting a slanderous probably job ending article for what? Ooh yeah sine ratings since his ass hasn't been relevant since being released from NBC news and since his real name is Jim simony i'm flabbergasted that people are accepting lies from a man that can't even be truthful about his damn name look at the facts people our Atleast the other side if the story bpi put out a website all I ask before you make a company take a plunge is see both sides

Copernicus said...

"I say why the hell not keep this product around its keeping prices down when they are st all time highs during a time where the economy is nowhere to be found and its obviously safe shit we've had it over the last two decades with not one case of ecoli"

--Then hey! You're welcome to it, maestro! And, btw, which PR firm did you come from?

My points remain:

1) If this stuff is so quality fine textured and good for us then why not allow it to be sold stand alone? Hell, consumers would then be able to mix the portions they wanted with the regular gr. beef - and let us bear in mind this additive was sold only as waste slop 20+ yrs. ago.

2) Spraying even 10 ml of ammnoia gas is not small or insignificant. You can kill the E. Coli by using irradiation which is totally safe!

3) At the very least, I will concur that consumers could be offered the choice of buying the "cheaper" pink slime laced beef.

But then have the additive-laced beed LABELED!

As for "job ending article" hardly.

The real news here is the slime makers lost the PR war in its initial stages and now all their hacks and defenders are trying to win by a delayed action, initiative.

But the public is already onto them and it won't work.


yeah I said it said...

no pr firm associated here sir

just not one to take to an unlikely story that we've been eating "pink slime" for 23 years and not known it and that nothing was being done about just because one reporter with only two sources for his info one of which being a disgruntled employee who has sued the company and lost in both his first court case and appellate court..the other an ex-usda inspector that was doing work from his home yeah real scientific... more to come apparently there is a word limit

Copernicus said...

"no pr firm associated here sir"

Good, but this issue is now CLOSED. No more comments will be taken especially from a person whose profile just suddenly manifested itself within the past two days.. How shall we say? Looks like an anonymous defense of PR BS and by that I mean from a person with no blog, no history.

I welcome such occasionally, but even looking over your other two responses (which shall remain unpublished for the reasons given) they aren't convincing.

The fact is if this product can't or won't be sold stand alone, far less labelled prioperly then it shows its deficient qualities.

As I said this issue is now closed, so don't bother to wear out your digits writing any more comments.