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ABC and meat producer BPI settle in $1.9B 'pink slime' lawsuit

HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer

Friday, June 30, 2017



ABC and meat producer BPI settle in $1.9B 'pink slime' lawsuit
Hamburger Meat

The ABC television network and South Dakota-based meat producer Beef Products Inc. (BPI) have reached a settlement after three weeks of litigation in a defamation lawsuit.

BPI accused ABC of defamation over a 2012 news series on BPI’s use of what critics called “pink slime”-- a meat by-product used as a food additive in ground beef. ABC reported that “pink slime” was in 70% of ground beef sold in supermarkets, and was not labeled.

The pink meat by-product can be added to ground beef to reduce the overall fat content. It's made from a cow’s remains after it has been butchered. The meat is separated from the fat, and ammonia gas is then applied to kill bacteria. It is often referred to as “pink slime” because of its texture and appearance.

After the reports aired, there was an immediate public outcry. Many grocery store chains promised to stop carrying ground beef that contained the meat by-product. BPI alleged that ABC’s reports damaged their sales to the point where they had to close plants in three states and lay off more than 700 workers.

The trial began on June 5 in South Dakota and was settled before the defendant, ABC, ever took the stand. BPI was seeking $1.9 billion in damages, but that sum could have grown to as much as $5.7 billion under South Dakota law.

In its statement on Wednesday, ABC said that they stood by the integrity of their report.

"Throughout this case, we have maintained that our reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about this product," the statement said. "Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the Company's interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer's right to know about the products they purchase."

"ABC has reached an amicable resolution of its dispute with the makers of 'lean finely textured beef,'" the network said in a statement. The amount and terms of the settlement are confidential.


Source: Nancy Lawrence - Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.





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