ABC settles suit over what it had called ‘pink slime’


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After three weeks of trial in a South Dakota courtroom, ABC and Beef Products Inc. reached a settlement in a defamation lawsuit over a series of news reports on the meat producer’s use of lean, finely textured beef product — sometimes referred to by its detractors as “pink slime.”

“ABC has reached an amicable resolution of its dispute with the makers of ‘lean finely textured beef,'” the network said in a statement.

The South Dakota-based BPI sued ABC for more than $1 billion over reports that originally aired in 2012, alleging that the coverage severely hurt its business. In the reports, ABC explained that the product was not unsafe to eat, but that BPI did not label when it was included in its beef.

BPI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The trial began on June 5 in Elk Point, South Dakota. It was settled before ABC began its defense.

In its statement on Wednesday, ABC indicated that it stood by its reporting.

“Throughout this case, we have maintained that our reports accurately presented the facts and views of knowledgeable people about this product,” the statement said. “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.”

Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

— CNNMoney’s Dylan Byers contributed reporting.

CNNMoney (New York) First published June 28, 2017: 10:24 AM ET


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