BPI vs. ABC News

Sep 13, 2012

A Dakota Dunes beef processing company is suing ABC News over reports that aired this spring about the company’s Lean, Finely-Textured Beef.  Attorney Dan Webb filed the lawsuit in Union County Circuit Court Thursday morning, on behalf of Beef Products, Incorporated.  Webb says ABC referred to the beef product as “pink slime.”

“Based on our review of these broadcasts, ABC used that term ‘pink slime’ to refer to our client’s product, over 130 times,” says Webb.  “I will put experts on the witness stand that will tell this jury there is no worse pejorative or derogatory term that you could use to refer to any food product.  Slime is defined as something that is disgusting, repulsive, vile and filthy liquid.  So, when you are to refer to anyone’s food product as ‘slime,’ you had better have a lot of evidence.”
 
Webb says B-P-I is seeking more than a billion dollars in damages—the company was forced to close three plants and lay off 700 workers when sales of the beef fell 80 percent.  Webb says the network caused great harm to the company with reports about the product.

“On March Seventh, 20-12, ABC made a conscious decision to begin a month-long misinformation campaign, against BPI, and against BPI’s Lean Beef product.  That misinformation campaign was actually started by ABC, after they had been given substantial information that showed them that the statements they were making were false, misleading, and defamatory—and they did it anyway,” says Webb.  

Webb continues that ABC went so far as to, in his words, “Blacklist” grocery store chains that decided to keep selling the beef.  He says after sales of the beef fell 80 percent, 700 employees were laid off and three plants closed. 

Audio from this story was obtained by K-T-I-V Television of Sioux City.