Analysts are attributing recent drops in wholesale beef prices to the controversy over so-called pink slime, but no one can forecast what the long term effects will be, if any.

USDA food price analyst, Ricky Volpe, says there are a number of issues. Right now consumers are backing off of beef, because they don't want the lean finely-texture beef in their burger.

"Beef isn't being sold in the same quantity at the retail level, because now all these major chains are saying, "We're not going to buy pink slime." So overall the demand is down at the wholesale level and that's killing the whole sale price for the short term. Who knows how its gonna shake down."

Volpe says its not clear how long this will last, but he says beef continues to be very popular overseas and supplies remain low. He says that's a recipe for continued high prices. They were up 10 percent last year and are predicted to go up another 4 to 5 per cent this year.