Meat industry sues over Jamie Oliver's 'pink slime' comments

Image of Turkey mince

Beef Products Inc, the world’s biggest processor of MSM, is suing US television broadcaster ABC for $1.2 billion over “false and defamatory” comments made by Jamie Oliver in an episode of Oliver’s Food Revolution, aired in May 2011, and repeated in subsequent ABC shows.

Oliver’s programme triggered negative PR and a consumer boycott of MSM, leading to many supermarkets dropping products containing “pink slime” from their shelves.

ABC is accused by Beef Products Inc of having “decided to destroy this business, and decimate its product in the marketplace. [They] did this with malice, and they knew what they were doing.”

The company claims its sales dropped by 80 per cent as a result of “unfair coverage”, forcing it to close three of its four plants and lay off 700 workers.

The 257-page lawsuit argues that the term “pink slime” is pejorative, preferring the phrase “finely textured lean beef” to describe a product that is essentially scraped from animal carcasses.

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