AFA Foods Gets Pink-Slimed

"Pink slime" could be a handy visual metaphor for the grassroots digital campaigns that have recently shaken organizations as varied as Apple, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Sanford, Fla., police department. The term might even be on its way to becoming a verb, especially now that AFA Foods, one of the largest ground beef processors in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy protection.

AFA Foods, which produces more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products annually, according to Reuters, referred to "recent changes in the market" in its bankruptcy documents. The filing by AFA and the closing of several processing plants by Beef Products Inc. are a direct result of the largely online movement (see the #pinkslime hashtag) to rid ground beef products of "lean, finely textured beef" filler treated with ammonia—otherwise known as pink slime.

The anti-pink slime movement and bankruptcy of AFA and the closing of Beef Products Inc. plants could have far-reaching effects on the beef production, supermarket and restaurant industries. As in the case of Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook recently went to China to witness firsthand the reality of its supply chain there, traditional investigative reporting coupled with intense and impassioned social media activity has led to quick action on the part of an entrenched industry. In this case, the action was a bankruptcy filing.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI

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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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