Today ABC News and Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) settled the $1 billion+ defamation lawsuit over the television network’s coverage of BPI’s lean finely textured beef, which has been infamously referred to “pink slime”. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
“We are extraordinarily pleased with this settlement,” stated BPI attorney Dan Webb in a statement outside the Union County Courthouse in Elk Point, South Dakota, as reported by the Sioux City Journal. “I believe we have totally vindicated the product.”
The ABC reports aired in 2012 (reported by Jim Avila) and stated that ground beef sold in supermarkets contained a cheap filler (beef trimmings sprayed with ammonia) that was not labeled as such on the products. The network reported that 70% of ground beef at the supermarket contained pink slime, a term coined by whistleblower and former USDA scientist Gerald Zirnstein.
BPI claimed that following the ABC reports, its revenues reportedly dropped 80% and resulted in layoffs of hundreds of employees. In a written statement, the company called ABC’s reporting “biased and baseless”. The trial began on June 5.