SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Nov. 21, 2011 – The federal
judge overseeing the South Dakota Beef Products, Inc. defamation case against an
ABC News report on lean finely-textured beef has recused himself.
Judge Lawrence L. Piersol will be replaced by Chief
Judge Karen Schreier.
BPI, Inc., filed suit in September, alleging a March ABC News report
calling lean finely-textured beef “pink slime” falsely led consumers to believe
that the substance was unsafe to eat. BPI says the network is responsible for
$1.2 billion in damages, incurred when consumer backlash led many national
companies to stop carrying the product. BPI has been forced to close three of
its four factories and has laid off half of its workforce.