Earlier today,
Beef Products Inc.(“BPI”) filed suit in South Dakota state court for defamation against ABC News, Inc..  The suit is based on ABC’s coverage of BPI’s product called “pink slime” by members of the media.  BPI is seeking $1.2 billion in damages for ‘false and misleading and defamatory’ statements about the product officially known as lean, finely textured beef, said Dan Webb, BPI’s Chicago-based attorney.

The lawsuit names American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., ABC News, Inc., Diane Sawyer and ABC correspondents Jim Avila and David Kerley as defendants, along with the Gerald Zirnstein, the USDA microbiologist who first called the product “pink slime,” Carl Custer, a former federal food scientist, and Kit Foshee, a former BPI quality assurance manager who was interviewed by ABC.  

This year, BPI has shut three of its four plants and eliminated almost 700 jobs, which it blames on the media uproar.  Additionally, the company claims to have lost 80% of its business within the span of a month.  Articles with more information are located hereand here.

To read the complaint that BPI filed, click here.  And for more information about the product as well as the controversy, check out the Congressional Research Service report discussing lean finely textured beef, available here. 

Posted: 9/13/2012
Questions?  Looking for more information?  Contact Staff Attorney Elizabeth Rumley at erumley@uark.edu