"Pink Slime" Defamation Trial Set to Start in South Dakota

By JAMES NORD, Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Jury selection starts Wednesday in a more than $1 billion defamation case over ABC news reports on a South Dakota meat producer's lean, finely textured beef product, which critics have dubbed "pink slime." The trial in state court is scheduled to last until late July.

A look at the case:



Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. sued the television network in 2012, saying ABC's coverage misled consumers into believing the product is unsafe and led to the closures of three plants and layoffs of roughly 700 workers. The reports emphasized that the product at the time was present in 70 percent of the ground beef sold in supermarkets, but wasn't labeled. ABC's attorneys have argued that in each of its broadcasts, the network stated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture deemed the product safe to eat.

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