BPI to continue beef with ABC News over “pink slime” lawsuit

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Almost two years after ABC News aired the TV segment, “Pink Slime and You,” attacking the beef industry for its use of lean finally textured beef (LFTB), Beef Products Inc. (BPI), and Freezing Machines, Inc., are one step closer to taking the national news station to court. The $1.2 billion lawsuit filed back in September 2012 was approved to continue by a South Dakota state judge on March 27, 2014.

The defamation lawsuit is targeted at ABC, and news anchors Diane Sawyer and reporter Jim Avila, with claims that BPI’s reputation was damaged with the using of the label “pink slime.” Another defendant includes a former USDA microbiologist who is credited with coining the term.

"The entirety of the broadcasts can be reasonably interpreted as insinuating that plaintiffs are improperly selling a product that is not nutritious and/or not safe for the public's consumption," Judge Cheryle Gering of the Union County Circuit Court writes. “The entirety of the broadcasts can be reasonably interpreted as insinuating that plaintiffs are improperly selling a product that is not nutritious and/or not safe for the public's consumption.”

After the segment and follow up stories were aired in March and April of 2012, public outcry resulted in major retailers including Wal-Mart and Safeway to pull ground beef containing the beef trimming product from their supermarket shelves, as well as schools participating in USDA’s National School Lunch Program and several fast food companies.

This resulted in BPI having to close three of its four plants, laying off hundreds of employees.

“For more than 30 years, our family has built and operated companies that are committed to providing consumers with wholesome, safe and nutritious lean beef. We’ve created thousands of good jobs for Americans and our lean finely textured beef has made the leaner ground beef that consumers desire more affordable,” states Eldon Roth, founder and CEO of BPI, in a news release announcing the lawsuit. “The blatantly false and disparaging statements made about our lean beef have done more than hurt my family and our companies, they have jeopardized the future of our employees and their families.”

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Texas  |  April, 01, 2014 at 11:04 PM

As a meat consumer, I stopped purchasing commercially ground beef back when "lean finely textured beef" began to be added to ground beef by most grocery chains. I had no idea what it was, but I smelled and tasted the unpleasant difference. Of course, the beef industry was only attempting to be more efficient through innovation - but for my two cents, they should have left the LFTB to the dogfood companies, or sold it to zoos. I never wanted Bologna in my ground beef.

April, 02, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Your problems with 'taste and smell' are most likely psychosomatic. There were several products that contained far more than was merely added to ground beef. I had several packages in my freezer and thawed one out the day after the ambush telecast. (I lived through the chevy pickup assault) I smelled it raw, I cooked it and observed the odors while it was cooking, I smelled it when it was cooked to medium rare, and then I ate it. ZERO issues with either odor at any stage in the process or flavor. If it helps, I normally buy a half a beef from relatives so what I'm used to is far better than what you buy in a store.

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.    
Texas  |  April, 02, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Friday, March 21, 2014 Rancho Dead Stock Cancer Downers Recall Explained FSIS March 20 2014 ? http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2014/03/rancho-dead-stock-cancer-downers-recall.html *** Because typical clinical signs of BSE cannot always be observed in nonambulatory disabled cattle, and because evidence has indicated these cattle are more likely to have BSE than apparently healthy cattle, FDA is designating material from nonambulatory disabled cattle as prohibited cattle materials. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/98fr/04-15881.htm http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/Comments/03-025IFA/03-025IFA-2.pdf http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/bovine_spongiform_encephalopathy.pdf http://downercattle.blogspot.com/ >>> As of March 20, 2014, FSIS has completed all checks and determined that the recall activities were effective. There will be no further additions to the distribution list, but, in an effort to make the information as accessible as possible, it will remain in the “active” section of the FSIS recalls website. <<< so, no further additions, end of story, or not ??? http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2014/04/questions-linger-in-us-cjd-cases-2005.html Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

FLorida  |  April, 02, 2014 at 01:20 PM

WHAT an absolute load of confused Bull pucky and stupidity . I would guess some lefty vegan troll trying to smear the beef industry, but not very bright thanks to a LACK of proper nutrition one gains from nice RED beef.

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