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Governors from three meat-producing states today defended Beef Products Inc., the company that makes lean finely textured beef, which now-former USDA scientists nicknamed “pink slime,” after a walk through the company’s plant accompanied by ABC News.

“Let’s call this product what it is and let ‘pink slime’ become a term of the past,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said after the tour, after which officials showed off t-shirts with the slogan, “Dude, it’s beef!”

Stung by consumer reaction to the process used by BPI, grocery stores pulled beef containing the filler off the shelves and BPI closed three of its four plants for lack of demand. The governors said that the treatment the product received in the media was unfair because it is not only safe, but also nutritious and allows grocers to sell leaner ground beef at a lower cost.