BPI: Settlement a foundation to grow business

ABC News Settlement Reached in'Pink Slime Defamation Suit

ABC News says it has reached a settlement with a South Dakota meat producer in a lawsuit over a 2012 report that referred to the company's beef products as "pink slime". BPI is based in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota.ABC said in a statement that it stood by its reporting. Terms were not immediately disclosed.

After the reports aired, some grocery store chains said they would stop carrying ground beef that contained the product.

BPI claims sales declined from about five million pounds per week to less than two million pounds per week.

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"This agreement provides us with a strong foundation on which to grow the business, while allowing us to remain focused on achieving the vision of the Roth and BPI family", the company and family said in their statement. In the reports, ABC explained that the product was not unsafe to eat, but that BPI did not label when it was included in its beef.

Lean, finely textured beef can be added to ground beef to reduce the overall fat content. It was Zirnstein who used the term "pink slime" to describe BP's lean finely textured beef (LFTB) product in a 2002 email after touring a plant.

BPI, in September 2012, sued ABC, news anchor Diane Sawyer and star correspondent Jim Avila, though Sawyer was later dropped from the suit.

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"I wish they had had the chance to hear my side of the story", Avila said, according to the newspaper.

"I think it's important to note that we are not retracting anything and we are not apologizing for anything".

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The trial began earlier this month in the tiny town of Elk Point, South Dakota, and had been expected to last eight weeks. Beef Products blamed three plant shutdowns and 700 laid off employees on ABC coverage, and its original lawsuit claimed defamation and disparagement and sought over $1 billion in damages.

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