Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry: Lean, Finely Textured Beef is Nutritious, Safe and Affordable for Consumers

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Thursday, March 29, 2012  •  South Sioux City, Nebraska  •  Speech

I'm glad to join you and my fellow governors here today.

Todd Staples, our Texas Ag Commissioner, and I had an interesting and informative tour, and I'm glad to be able to add my voice to those calling for calm and cooler heads in this situation.

In Texas, beef is a $7.5 billion industry, and it helps a lot of hard-working Texans earn a living, so when false rumors get started that can take down entire companies that hits us close to home.

In fact, we already have a couple hundred Texas workers sitting idle because of this situation, each of them suddenly unsure of their future through no fault of their own or their employer's.

Whether you work in the industry or not, however, this hysteria will affect almost everyone to some degree.

Reacting to nothing more than media reports and social media rumors, retailers are effectively discarding 10 to 12 pounds of high-quality protein per head at the same time an historic drought in the Southwest has significantly reduced herd size.

That's a formula for a fairly significant price hike in beef, again, for no valid reason.

As governors, we owe it to the people of our states and their employers to ensure no industry succumbs to these sorts of attacks, many driven by ideological opponents with a clear agenda.

And as members of the media, you owe it to consumers to report the facts.

Let's call this product what it is and make "pink slime" a term of the past.

This simple effort will be instrumental in putting an end to the hype and misinformation.

The question we all have to ask ourselves is, what industry is not vulnerable to this type of fast-spreading misinformation campaign?

So, I appreciate BPI for having us today, and I appreciate us having this opportunity to set the record straight.

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