In 2012, ABC’s Jim Avila did a couple reports the entire world reacted to: restaurants and grocery stores were selling meat laced with what became known as, “pink slime.” In the reports, ABC explained that the product was safe to eat but that the company behind it, BPI, wasn’t labeling it when it was included in its beef.


As a result of those reports, South Dakota-based BPI claimed the coverage “severely hurt its business.”1 BPI sued ABC for more than $1 billion and after three weeks in a South Dakota courtroom, ABC and Beef Products Inc. reached a settlement. The terms of the settlement were not made public.

Obviously, BPI is pleased with the results. Their lawyer, Dan Webb said:

“This was a long road to travel for BPI. We felt the trial was necessary to rectify the enormous financial harm that had been suffered by BPI as a result of what we believed to be extraordinarily biased and baseless reporting by ABC in 2012. We were looking forward to taking the case all the way to the verdict, but then settlement discussions sprang up this week. From our client’s standpoint, this allows them to grow their business back.” 2

I haven’t seen, in any reports that I’ve read, that BPI has any remorse about hiding their product or defrauding the public. But then, we are used to that, aren’t we? Because while they CLAIM the product is safe to eat, do you really want to eat the leftover parts of the meat that have been coated in Ammonium Hydroxide (after they were boiled down of course)? I know I don’t. (I know, I know, I’m a vegan but you get the point.)


For their part, ABC stands by their reporting:

“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.” 3


If you are going to eat something your eyes should be wide open about what it’s made of.

Sources and References

  1. CNN Money, June 28, 2017.
  2. CNN Money, June 28, 2017.
  3. CNN Money, June 28, 2017.