‘Pink Slime’ Defamation Trial Set To Start In South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Jury selection is set to start in a defamation case over ABC news reports on a South Dakota meat producer’s lean, finely textured beef product, which critics have dubbed “pink slime.”

Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. sued the television network in 2012. It said ABC’s coverage that year led to plant closures and hundreds of layoffs by misleading consumers into believing the product is unsafe. ABC and correspondent Jim Avila are defendants.

ABC argues that the network accurately presented views and information from knowledgeable sources on a matter of public interest.

The actual damages BPI is seeking could be as high as $1.9 billion, though ABC has disputed that figure.

Jury selection starts Wednesday. The trial in state court is scheduled to last until late July.

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