Petitioning to remove “pink slime” from the national school lunch program

I’m not necessarily sure that electronic petitions ever amount to much, given the anonymity associated with online activities and the perceived lack of procedural controls in accurately polling users.  If you’re interested, however, change.org is asking users to “sign” an online petition directed to Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.  The petition requests that the government stop purchasing meat processed with “pink slime” in the school lunch program.

You can read about “pink slime,” which consists of fatty beef scraps and connective tissue that are treated with ammonia hydroxide, at this link.  You can also read about the government’s decision to purchase 7 million pounds of ammonia-treated beef for the school lunch program at this link.   Finally, anyone that is interested in participating in the petition can access it at this link.  It reads in part:

Government and industry records obtained by The New York Times in 2009 showed that “in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment. Since 2005, E. coli has been found 3 times and salmonella 48 times, including back-to-back incidents in August in which two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated. The meat was caught before reaching lunch-rooms trays.”

Even apart from safety concerns, it is simply wrong to feed our children connective tissues and beef scraps that were, in the past, destined for use in pet food and rendering and were not considered fit for human consumption.

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