Beef Firm Donated More Than $800,000 To Candidates

Craig Letch, director of food quality and assurance for Beef Products Inc. (BPI), left, introduces the beef product known as pink slime or lean finely textured beef, and the cuts from which it is made to from left: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels and Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy, during a tour Thursday, March 29, 2012, of the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in South Sioux City, Neb., where the beef product is made. The governors of Iowa, Texas and Kansas and lieutenant governors of Nebraska and South Dakota toured the plant to show their support for the company and the several thousand jobs it creates in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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By Jaime Sharer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The main producer of the lean beef trimmings that critics call "pink slime" has donated more than $800,000 to state and federal political candidates over the past decade.

On Sunday, the Des Moines Register detailed the donations that Beef Products Inc. has made.

The company's product made from beef trimmings is under scrutiny because of public concerns about the ammonium hydroxide it uses to treat the meat, which the company says kills bacteria.

Executives and employees at BPI have given at least $546,500 to candidates for state office in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. And the company's owners Eldon and Regina Roth have given $274,250 to congressional and presidential candidates since 2008.

Nearly all of that $820,750 - except for $28,400 - went to Republicans.

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