Beef Products Inc. is suing ABC News in general and several of its anchors specifically for defamation over its reports on BPI's "lean finely-textured beef" product—better known as "pink slime." The lawsuit alleges that ABC falsely led viewers to believe that the beef was not safe, healthy, or even meat, Reuters reports. BPI says that the reports reduced demand for its product, and it's demanding $400 million in compensation and damages.
The suit names Diane Sawyer, Jim Avila, David Kerley, and others. ABC was hardly alone in reporting on the slime controversy. The term "pink slime" was coined by a USDA scientist, one of several who remain outspoken critics of the product. Since the controversy broke, BPI has had to close three of its four plants. "The lawsuit is without merit," one ABC executive said. "We will contest it vigorously."