Beef Products Incorporated (BPI) won’t reopen the three plants it closed in the wake of the controversy over its finely textured beef product, but the company does plan to keep its Sioux City area plant open. Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott says the news about the other plants is sad for the company.

“We’d all hoped that they would rebound, and I’m hopeful that they will find a solution some day down the road for what’s happened to them,” Scott says. “I think it’s terribly unfortunate. I think what’s happened to that company is just a result of this modern media frenzy that we get into even though the facts are not well grounded. It’s terrible what’s happened, we’re talking people’s jobs, families, lives and that.”

BPI closed it’s plants in Waterloo, Amarillo, Texas and Garden City, Kansas after the product they produce was called “pink slime” and questions were raised about its safety. The governor, U.S. ag secretary, and the Iowa congressional delegation all came to the company’s defense, saying the product has been used for years and is safe.

Mayor Scott says his city will continue to do what it can for the company.”Obviously they’re good for this region, they’ve been good corporate citizens to help fund projects for this community, and it’s just a sad day when something like this happens,” Scott says.

The Waterloo plant employed 220 people. Production continues at the Sioux City plant, but has been reduced.

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City