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ABC News, beef company settle 'pink slime' lawsuit

ABC News, beef company settle 'pink slime' lawsuit

After the ABC reports, some grocery store chains said they would stop carrying ground beef that contained the product.

BPI claims sales declined from about 5 million pounds per week to less than 2 million pounds per week. ABC News defended its reporting and tried to get the lawsuit dismissed back in 2012, arguing "pink slime" wasn't an inaccurate description and that it was a constitutionally protected "imaginative expression" and "rhetorical hyperbole". LFTB has been approved by the USDA for use in ground beef since 1993. BPI and its family owners say that the lawsuit was hard, but necessary to start rectifying the harm suffered as a result of ABC's reports on their product, which critics dubbed "pink slime".

BPI closed three of four processing plants and laid off some 700 people in March 2012 after demand for lean finely textured beef plummeted.

After the settlement of the lawsuit, ABC News' spokesperson Julie Townsend said Wednesday, the media group maintained the accuracy of its reports.

Pink slime is officially dead. The prospect of a US$5.7 million payout led the parent of the ABC Walt Disney Company to include this lawsuit in 10-Q reports to shareholders filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

"We were looking forward to taking the case all the way to the verdict, but then settlement discussions sprang up this week", Webb said.

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Lean, finely textured beef is made up of the fatty scraps of beef left over after steaks and roasts are cut from cattle carcasses.

"I wish they had had the chance to hear my side of the story", Avila said, according to the newspaper.

"I think it's important to note that we are not retracting anything and we are not apologizing for anything".

ABC News could potentially have been held liable for almost $6 billion under a state law that triples damages for knowingly lying about a food product's safety, according to the Wall Street Journal. "When you have a major news organization that is calling the product 'slime, ' witnesses will say they can't imagine anything worse".

Avila told reporters he realized the settlement was a business decision for the network.


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