Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BPI, ABC reach settlement

Beef Products Inc. and ABC News have reached an out-of-court settlement of BPI’s $1.9-billion libel and defamation lawsuit over reporting about “pink slime”.

No terms have been disclosed.

BPI said "we are extraordinarily pleased to have reached a settlement of our lawsuit against ABC and (reporter) Jim Avila.

“While this has not been an easy road to travel, it was necessary to begin rectifying the harm we suffered as a result of what we believed to be biased and baseless reporting in 2012.

“Through this process, we have again established what we all know to be true about Lean Finely Textured Beef: it is beef, and is safe, wholesome, and nutritious.

“This agreement provides us with a strong foundation on which to grow the business, while allowing us to remain focused on achieving the vision of the Roth and BPI family."

ABC said it is “an amicable resolution of its dispute with the makers of 'lean finely textured beef.'
“Throughout this case, we have maintained that our reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about this product.

“Although we have concluded that continued litigation of this case is not in the Company’s interests, we remain committed to the vigorous pursuit of truth and the consumer’s right to know about the products they purchase.”

BPI sued over ABC’s series of reports in spring 2012 that raised questions about LFTB’s suitability for human consumption. The case was being tried in Circuit Court in Elk Point, South Dakota. BPI hoped to be awarded up to three times the original amount sought for “product disparagement.”

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