BPI Lawsuit Against ABC: Fact Sheet
ABC’s Disinformation Campaign
On March 7, 2012, ABC began a month-long disinformation campaign against BPI and lean finelytextured beef (LFTB). Through a series of factually false statements, repeated continuously during themonth-long campaign, ABC misled consumers into believing that LFTB was not beef but instead was an
unhealthy “pink slime” that was “hidden” in ground beef as part of an “economic fraud” masterminded
by BPI.The campaign against BPI and LFTB was unparalleled in terms of its duration, scope of false statements,and the number of people it reached through ABC broadcasts and online reports. ABC incited aconsumer backlash against BPI and LFTB, causing many grocery store chains to stop selling ground beef that included LFTB.The effect was devastating
prior to the disinformation campaign, BPI was selling approximately fivemillion pounds of LFTB per week and running four processing facilities. Afterwards, with
declining to less than two million pounds per week, they were forced to close three processing facilitiesand let go approximately 700 employees.
BPI filed a lawsuit against ABC on September 13, 2012 in Circuit Court in Union County, South Dakota,for knowingly and intentionally publishing false and disparaging statements regarding BPI and LFTB, andimproperly interfering with BPI business relationships.BPI alleges ABC knowingly and intentionally published false and disparaging statements regarding BPIand LFTB. Statements made by ABC were inconsistent with information BPI and others provided to themand were contradicted by the findings of the USDA, FDA, food safety organizations and numerous beef industry experts. ABC either knew it was making false statements about BPI and LFTB or acted withreckless disregard for the truth.BPI filed suit because their business has been severely damaged by
. BPI is asking forcompensatory and statutory damages for defamation, product and food disparagement and improperinterference with business relationships in a sum exceeding $1 billion, plus punitive damages.