DAY 9: Testimony from the scientist who first coined the term "pink slime"
Testimony from the scientist who first coined the term "pink slime" was heard today in the BPI versus ABC News trial.
Day 9 of trial started with a continued videotaped deposition of Former USDA Scientist Gerald Zirnstein, the first person who coined the term "pink slime" in 2002.
"Because it looks pink and I already said the way to control it, the product is uncontrollable unless it's frozen on a drone or liquid nitrogen," said Zirnstein.
He believes this was a product that should not have been permitted in hamburgers in the early 90s, though the American Meat Institute saidLFTB is in fact beef and safe.
"The LBT looked pretty weird, so I have to say yeah I didn't have a very good impression when I first saw it," said Zirnstein.
Zirnstein, who described himself as a whistle blower, appeared in the ABC News March 2012 reports, in which he gave his opinions and concerns about LFTB.
"It's lost the functionality of meat. It has a different composition entirely of meat. Just a lot of different things that doesn't really meet the definition," said Zirnstein.
Zirnstein later added in his deposition, that LFTB is a lower quality protein because of its excess collagen, and that he was upset after he heard rumors that the former USDA undersecretary, who at the time was Jo Ann Smith, had made a decision to determine that the LFTB food product was pink and therefore it was meat.
"It should not have been included in ground beef or hamburger unless you were going to be fair to the consumer and let them know there was something else in their with lower quality," said Zirnstein.
Zirnstein shared his opinions in an email to fellow USDA scientist Carl Custer, back in 2002, calling the BPI processed product "pink slime."
"I used the terms because it had been popularized," said Custer.
In his deposition, Custer explained and that he had a sufficient basis for any comments he made regarding the texture of LFTB in the ABC News reports.
"And from all the descriptions of the product, it appeared to be accurate," said Custer.
The trial will resume tomorrow morning at 8:30 at the Union County Courthouse in Elk Point.