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Petitioning United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Inform Consumers when Pink Slime (ammonium hydroxide) is Used in Meat

Tell USDA that you want to know when there is “Pink Slime” in your hamburger.
Pink Slime, otherwise known as ammonium hydroxide is used to make otherwise inedible meat edible. The food industry uses ammonium hydroxide as an anti-microbial agent in meats, which allows companies like McDonald's to use otherwise "inedible meat." (
MSNBC reports that this chemical, is also used in fertilizers, household cleaners and even homemade explosives.
“On his show, Oliver said of the meat treatment: ‘Basically we're taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest form for dogs and making it 'fit' for humans.’” ( You may also recall Oliver talking about this same type of chemically treated meat being used in schools around the country.
Even more disturbing, St. Louis-based dietician Sarah Prochaska told NBC affiliate KSDK that because ammonium hydroxide is considered part of the "component in a production procedure" by the USDA, consumers may not know when the chemical is in their food. (
Tell the USDA that you want to know when this chemical is in your food! Whether it is in the meat you’re buying in the store, or used in your child’s school, or in the hamburger that you’re buying from the local fast food joint. You should have the right to know if you’re consuming chemically treated meat.

Letter to
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
I just signed the following petition addressed to: USDA.

Inform Consumers When Pink Slime (ammonium hydroxide) is in their Meat

To Whom It May Concern:

It recently has come to my attention that ammonium hydroxide is being used in certain meats as an anti-microbial agent. Furthermore, because this chemical is considered to be a "component in a production procedure" by the USDA, I as a consumer may not know when this chemical is in the meat that I am consuming.

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for this chemical, "Serious Ingestion" information is unknown at this time. Also, the chemical has been found to cause cancer (tumorigenic) based on animal data.

Other potential effects on humans, according to MSDS, 2010 include:
Acute Potential Health Effects: Skin: Causes severe irritation. Causes skin burns. May cause deep, penetrating ulcers of the skin. Contact with skin may cause staining, inflammation, and thickening of the skin. Eye: Contact with liquid or vapor causes severe burns and possible irreversible eye damage including corneal injury and cataracts. Inhalation: Causes severe irritation of the upper respiratory tract with coughing, burns, breathing difficulty. May cause acute pulmonary edema, pneumoconiosis, fibrosis, and even coma. It is a respiratory stimulant when inhaled at lower concentrations. It may also affect behavior/ central nervous system (convulsions, seizures, ataxia, tremor), cardiovascular system (increase in blood pressure and pulse rate). Ingestion: Harmful if swallowed. Affects the Gastrointestinal tract (burns, swelling of the lips, mouth, and larynx, throat constriction, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, shock, and may cause severe and permanent damage), liver, and urinary system (kidneys) May affect behavior (convulsions, seizures, ataxia, excitement). Chronic Potential Health Effects: Ingestion: May cause effects similar to those of acute ingestion. Inhalation: Repeated exposure to low concentrations may cause bronchitis with cough, phlegm, and/or shortness of breath. May also cause liver and kidney damage, and affect the brain, and blood. Eye: May cause corneal damage and the development of cataracts and glaucoma. Skin: Repeated skin contact to low concentrations may cause dryness, itching, and redness (dermatitis).

I as a consumer am petitioning the USDA to inform me when this chemical is used in any meat intended for human consumption. Whether this is in the meat I am purchasing from a store, or the meat that I may be consuming at a restaurant, or the meat being used in public schools. The use of this chemical should be disclosed to the consumer because of the unknown and potentially dangerous effects.



Candace Riddle started this petition with a single signature, and now has 736 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.