Beef Products Inc. Defamation Case Against ABC News Is Underway

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Lawyers for Beef Products Incorporated say ABC News’ use of the phrase “pink slime,” among other things caused the company irreversible damage. 

“That success took about thirty years to succeed. And it took ABC less than thirty days to severely damage the company,” said BPI’s lawyer Dan Webb. 

The product is known as lean, finely textured beef, or LFTB. It’s added to ground beef to reduce the fat content. 

BPI argues that ABC News’ coverage of the product in 2012 swayed consumers into thinking the product was unsafe. 

“It’s a single ingredient product. There is no component added into ground beef that isn’t 100% ground beef, or it can’t be added in,” said Webb. 

The USDA does not require that LFTB be included on labels for ground beef products.

BPI claims hundreds of layoffs and $400-million in losses as a result of ABC’s coverage. 

Lawyers for ABC News’ say the term “pink slime” existed for years before their coverage and that their reports never directly referred to the product as “pink slime”. They also deny raising health concerns.

“Over and over, on World News tonight on Good Morning America, and online, starting on March 7th and continuing throughout the report, ABC cited sources saying LFTB is safe to eat,” said ABC’s defense lawyer Dane Butswinkas. 

ABC’s lawyers say the reports only raised questions regarding the labeling of LFTB products in ground beef.  

“It never said anybody was hurt, or injured, or got sick. That’s because ABC was tackling labeling. Not safety,” said Butswinkas. 


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