Beef Company Sues ABC for Defamation Over 'Pink Slime'

September 19, 2012

Beef Products Inc. (BPI) filed suit against ABC, ABC News, several ABC journalists, and an Agriculture Department scientist for defamation over stories about its 'finely textured beef' product, known to headline writers as 'pink slime.'

Legal experts say BPI will have a hard time winning the case, which harkens back to the famous hamburger libel case of the late 1990s, in which Oprah Winfrey won the right to dislike beef in public. The Oprah case largely proved that the 13 state "veggie libel" laws passed during the 1990s were unenforceable, and because few or no other cases have been filed under such laws, they are considered toothless. The South Dakota-based BPI is suing ABC for some $1.2 billion under that state's law.