WASHINGTON, June 28, 2017 – Representatives from Beef Products Inc. and ABC News say a lawsuit over ABC’s use of the term “pink slime” in reference to lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) has been settled out of court.
South Dakota Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering announced the settlement at the beginning of what was to be the 18th day of the trial in Union County. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
In a statement, BPI and the Roth family, the company’s owners, said they are “extraordinarily pleased” to have settled the case.
“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,” they said. “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."
The lawsuit stemmed from ABC reporting about LFTB and referring to it by the term “pink slime.” BPI claimed ABC and correspondent Jim Avila knowingly used false information about the product, and the negative reaction to the coverage caused millions of dollars in losses.
In a statement, an ABC News spokesperson said the two sides had reached an “amicable resolution,” but the company 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 spokesperson 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.”
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