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Unpublished Paper
Where’s the Beef? An Examination of the ‘Pink Slime’ Controversy and the Implications of the REAL Beef Act on State Truth-in-Menu Laws
ExpressO (2012)
  • Crystal T. Williams
Abstract

Recent criticism concerning the use of lean finely textured beef (“LFTB”), commonly referred to as “pink slime,” has sparked a national debate about whether LFTB should be included on the label of ground beef products sold to the end consumers. On March 30, 2012, the Requiring Easy and Accurate Labeling Beef Act (the “REAL Beef Act”) was introduced to Congress. If passed, the Act would require that “labels on packages of meat include a statement on whether the meat contains [LFTB].” It is not clear from the express language of the REAL Beef Act and its legislative history whether the disclosure will be required for restaurants. This article is timely and relevant to the restaurant industry because it addresses the impact the REAL Beef Act may have on restaurant menu labeling. Further, given the disclosure requirements of state truth-in-menu laws, an examination into how the REAL Beef Act will be applied on a state level is critical.

First, this article explains the history of LFTB, including how the substance is made and the impact it has on ground beef production. Second, this article will discuss the current “pink slime” controversy and the use of LFTB in ground beef products. Third, this article will discuss the current law on food labeling and how the REAL Beef Act will change current legislation. Fourth, this article will analyze the impact the REAL Beef Act may have on the restaurant industry. Finally, this article will discuss the interplay between the REAL Beef Act and state truth-in-menu laws.

Keywords
  • pink slime,
  • truth in menu,
  • Real Beef Act,
  • public policy,
  • public health,
  • restaurant,
  • LFTB,
  • lean finely textured beef,
  • menu labeling,
  • misbranding,
  • deceptive marketing
Disciplines
Publication Date
August 8, 2012
Citation Information
Crystal T. Williams. "Where’s the Beef? An Examination of the ‘Pink Slime’ Controversy and the Implications of the REAL Beef Act on State Truth-in-Menu Laws" ExpressO (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/crystal_williams/4/