Beef Products Inc. $400 Million Case Against ABC News Could Move to Federal Court
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Lawyers representing ABC News in the Beef Products Inc. case against the network have filed papers to have the case transferred from the state of South Dakota to federal court. Beef Products Inc. (BPI) is seeking $400 million in compensatory damages for lost profit that they claim was caused by ABC reporting.
BPI alleges that ABC network unfairly characterized its lean finely textured beef product as unsafe for consumption, referring to it repeatedly as “pink slime”. BPI is the largest U.S. producer of lean finely textured beef - which is a product used in ground beef made from beef trimmings where ammonia is used to treat the trimmings in order to remove any potential pathogens.
The company has sued ABC News network and ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer who covered the “pink slime” story. The term “pink slime” was coined by a former U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist – Gerald Zirnstein who is also being sued by BPI.
The news network aired a number of reports on BPI’s product which then led a number of grocery retailers to stop selling the product, despite the product being deemed safe from U.S. Department of Agriculture officials.