LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ The maker of the beef product dubbed ``pink slime'' by critics says it's laying off 86 employees from its South Dakota corporate office, and company officials are blaming what it calls a ``campaign of misinformation.''
Beef Products Inc. food-quality director Craig Letch told The Associated Press on Monday that the company initiated this second round of layoffs in response to intense negative publicity about its lean, finely textured beef.
The company and outside food-safety experts insist that the product is safe, and BPI has won public support from governors in four states where its plants operate.
The company announced earlier this month it was closing its three plants in Kansas, Texas and Iowa, resulting in 650 lost jobs.
A plant in Nebraska will remain open but at reduced capacity.