It’s been roughly five years since ‘pink slime’ was a buzzword in the national media. A Reuters report says the Beef Processors, Incorporated, $5.7 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC television is underway this week in Elk Point, South Dakota. BPI claims ABC television, owned by the Walt Disney Company, and ABC reporter Jim Avila, defamed the company by calling its ground beef product ‘pink slime,’ while making errors and omitting other facts from the story. After the reports aired in 2012, BPI had to close three of its four processing plants while watching revenues drop 80 percent. Elk Point sits in Union County, where election records indicate Donald Trump won 67 percent of the presidential votes. Trump uses the term “fake news” to say that some media outlets can’t be trusted. BPI lawyers declined to say whether or not “fake news” would be part of their strategy. During a January pre-trial hearing, BPI lawyer Eric Connolly said ABC broadcast and online reports about lean finely textured beef, or LFTB, used unreliable sources and purposely set out to stir up public outrage. Connolly told the judge during the hearing that the ABC story amounted to “fake news.” BPI lawyers say ABC used the term ‘pink slime’ 137 times in their reports.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.