Governors Defend Pink Slime by Eating It In attempt to combat 'unwarranted food scare' By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Mar 29, 2012 2:29 AM CDT 61 comments Comments Taking out the "pink slime" filler will lead to fattier, more expensive ground beef, the meat industry warns. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) (Newser) – Pink slime is perfectly safe to eat, but it has a bit of a PR problem, according to federal authorities and a coalition of at least four governors. Department of Agriculture officials say the "slime"—leftover beef trimmings sometimes treated with ammonium hydroxide—is actually a low-cost way of making ground beef leaner, and has been unfairly labeled, reports the Wall Street Journal. The additive has been used for nearly 20 years, but supermarkets have started taking it off their shelves under pressure from the public. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are among the governors who plan to eat the stuff the meat industry calls "lean, finely textured beef" themselves after touring a plant in Nebraska today, BusinessWeek reports. "You effectively need to kill 1.5 million more head of cattle a year to replace the meat that would go off the market from this unwarranted, unmerited food scare," Branstad says. "That's why we're pushing back on it."