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BPI Files Lawsuit Against ABC News for Coverage of Lean Finely Textured Beef

Thursday, September 13, 2012

(American Meat Institute)

Beef Products, Inc. today filed a lawsuit in South Dakota state court against ABC News alleging it defamed BPI’s lean finely textured beef product in news coverage during March and April.   

The complaint alleges that ABC News made approximately 200 false and defamatory statements in 11 different broadcast stories and 14 online stories over the course of 30 days.  BPI says ABC News made a “conscious decision to conduct a month long misinformation campaign” and is asking for $1.2 billion in actual and statutory damages.  BPI alleges its sales declined 80 percent as a result of the ABC News stories, costing the company $400 million.

In a statement posted on the ABC News website, from Jeffrey W. Schneider, Senior Vice President, ABC News, the company said, "The lawsuit is without merit. We will contest it vigorously.”

“We continue to stand by the safety and nutrition of lean finely textured beef and believe it has been unfairly criticized,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle.  “ BPI is exercising its right to seek recourse from ABC for the unprecedented and, in our view, unbalanced  coverage, of this safe and nutritious beef product. We will await the court’s review of all the facts in this case.”

The full lawsuit is available here:  http://www.beefisbeef.com/2012/09/13/defamation-claim/

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