A lawsuit by Beef Products Inc. alleging defamation by ABC-TV will head to trial next week. BPI is seeking $1.9 billion in the lawsuit against ABC and correspondent Jim Avila for a series of stories the network ran on BPI’s signature product, Lean Finely Textured Beef, which was referred to as “pink slime” in those reports. Jury selection began this week for the lawsuit that will be heard in South Dakota. The Sioux City Journal of Sioux City, Iowa, says if BPI wins at trial, its claim could be tripled to $5.7 billion under provisions of South Dakota’s Agricultural Food Product Disparagement Act. BPI accuses ABC and Avila of engaging in a disinformation campaign that defamed BPI and Lean Finely Textured Beef, causing consumers to mistakenly believe the product was unsafe and unhealthy. The trial is expected to last two months.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.