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ABC News asks federal court to dismiss “pink slime” lawsuit

Network says the hyperbolic term is protected by the First Amendment

ABC News, much like all of us, is ready to be done with “pink slime.” The network asked a federal court on Wednesday to throw out Beef Products Inc.’s (BPI) claims that its pink slime news reports were defamatory, Thomson Reuters reports.

Officially known as lean finely textured beef, pink slime is a filler used in ground beef made from trimmings and sterilized with ammonia. It earned the nauseating moniker when ABC aired broadcasts in March and April that questioned the product’s quality.

In September, BPI fired back with a lawsuit seeking $400 million on compensatory damages for the profits the ABC newscasts allegedly cost it. What’s more, a South Dakota law on disparagement of agricultural products could potentially triple the damages. Small wonder ABC wants the suit dismissed.

"Pink slime is exactly the sort of 'loose, figurative, or hyperbolic language' that courts recognize demands protection under the First Amendment," the court filing reads.


Read more than you ever wanted to know about pink slime on InsideCounsel:

ABC News wants “pink slime” lawsuit in federal court

ABC News sued for defamation over “pink slime” reports

“Pink slime” controversy continues to rage

AFA Foods files for bankruptcy over “pink slime” controversy

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