Wall Street endured its worst trading session in a month due to a weak bond auction in Spain and renewed investor concerns over European debt.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its second triple-digit decline in a month on Wednesday, falling 145 points. By Thursday’s close of the holiday-shortened trading week some of the loss had been regained.
The Federal Reserve released minutes from its last meeting where members had a sunnier view of the economy. The positive comments were fueled by strong gains in the job market at the beginning of the year.
Orders to U.S. factories climbed in February for the third time in the last four months.
And the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in March as 120,000 people went back to work. Despite the rosy outlook the figure was reduced due to fewer people looking for work.
But the ranks of the unemployed swelled in three Midwestern states as 600 people became casualties in the battle over Lean Finely Textured Beef. BPI, the primary processor of LFTB, temporarily closed 3 of its plants in light of decreased demand due to negative publicity. The loss of jobs and the singling out of a specific beef product for scrutiny have pushed one governor to go to the next level and ask Congressional officials to get involved.
The campaign against the backlash over the use of lean, finely textured beef or LFTB, moved to a different level this week.
Iowa governor Terry Branstad called for a congressional investigation of the source of the so-called ”pink slime” campaign.
Last week, beef-state governors railed on critics of the additive’s use, holding a press event at Beef Products, Incorporated, in South Sioux City, Nebraska which included the governors sampling the product to prove its safety.
Governor Branstad extend his message for lean, finely textured beef to all U.S. governors and lieutenant governors. In a letter supporting the additive, Branstad wants other states to help combat to what he calls the distortions.
Brandstad letter: “… if we fail to stand up the bullies who seek to belittle or eliminate products backed up by sound science and a history of purity, where will it end?”
Some consumers will soon be able to tell which ground beef includes the ammonia treated additive or does not.
Iowa-based Hy-Vee grocery stores pulled ground beef with the additive last week from its 230 stores across 8 Midwestern states. But customer comments in support of the product pushed the grocer to put ground beef with LFTB back on the company’s shelves. Hy-Vee officials say the additive will not be marked on each package, but in a clearly designated area in the meat department to provide the customer a choice. Hy-Vee made a statement:
“They want a choice when it comes to ground beef, and they want to support companies that provide thousands of jobs in our Midwest trade area.”