Calling it a move to improve transparency with consumers, major American beef producer Cargill has begun labeling some of its ground beef products that contain the company’s finely textured beef, a lean beef product derived from fatty trimmings. The company announced the decision to do so in November, saying it would make the move before the 2014 summer grilling season. Some of Cargill’s bulk packages and “Our Certified” brand ground beef chubs will now indicate that they contain lean finely textured beef (FTB), a product mechanically separated from beef trimmings and treated with citric acid to reduce the risk of pathogenic contamination. The new labels apparently state, “Contains Finely Textured Beef,” although the label is not clearly visible on any photos at the company’s new website,, which was made to address questions and concerns about FTB. Some labels now also include a QR code that can be scanned by a smart phone and will direct consumers to the website. The move comes after consumer concern rose in 2012 with regard to a similar product, lean finely textured beef (LFTB), made by Beef Products, Inc. LFTB is made using similar methods of separating lean beef from fatty trimmings and is treated with ammonia instead of citric acid. As part of that controversy, consumers expressed outrage over the widely unknown inclusion of LFTB in ground beef, which was commonly referred to as “Pink Slime.” That backlash ultimately resulted in Beef Products, Inc., closing three of its four production plants as demand for the product dropped. Cargill did not receive nearly the amount of ire for their product, FTB. Regardless, Cargill said the labels disclosing FTB are a response to consumer demand.