Texas Tech professor Mindy Brashears is head of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech. She repeatedly visited Beef Products, Incorporated plants and tested the company’s “lean, finely-textured beef.”
“First of all, I have concluded that LFTB is meat,” she testified. “Second of all, I have concluded that LFTB is beef. I have concluded that LFTB is not a filler.”
Brashears told the jury how the product is made.
“I’ve concluded that LFTB is not like gelatin,” she testified. “I’ve concluded that LFTB is safe to eat. I’ve concluded that LFTB is not pink slime.”
The company says ABC’s use of that two-word phrase killed its business. The professor told the jury lean finely textured textured beef is produced from “sparse lean trimmings.”
“I’ve concluded that sparse lean trimmings do not come from the parts of the carcass most susceptible to contamination,” Brashears said, “and also that sparse lean trimmings were not once used only in dog food and cooking oil.”
BPI says its product helped lower the fat content of ground beef, but after ABC aired critical stories it had to close three of the four BPI plants in the Midwest and layoff 700 workers. Attorneys for ABC say people have a right to know what’s in their food and lean, finely textured beef was in about 70 percent of ground beef sold in the U.S. when the stories aired five years ago.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)