Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by Ethan Huff
You can’t just sue someone for saying something you don’t like, and you certainly can’t successfully pursue litigation against a media outlet for merely telling the truth — unless, of course, you’re a powerful food industry conglomerate with backing from your buddies in Big Agriculture and the state government.
Beef Products Inc., the infamous manufacturer of “lean, finely textured beef,” a.k.a. “pink slime,” just got the green light from South Dakota’s Union County Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering to move forward with a bogus lawsuit against ABC News, simply for its 2012 coverage of the disgusting animal byproduct that’s hiding in some meat products.
Back in September 2012, ABC News‘ Diane Sawyer and Jim Avila blew the lid on the pink slime scandal, revealing images of the soft serve-like pink substance that was being pumped into the ground beef sold at stores like Walmart and served at restaurants like McDonald’s. Pink slime is essentially the leftover trimmings of a cow’s carcass that are treated with ammonia and served to consumers in the U.S. — mmmm, mmmm, good!
As the public learned about the disgusting nature of pink slime, and how it was being hidden in meat products as a way to increase corporate profits, many people naturally gravitated away from it. Both Walmart and McDonald’s stopped serving it, and Beef Products Inc. had to close three production plants, which in the process cost the company some $1.2 billion in sales.
If Beef Products Inc. didn’t want to risk losing major market share, maybe it should have been upfront from the start about the presence of its product in meat. Or better yet, maybe Beef Products Inc. should have been producing actual meat that people want to eat rather than meat-like byproducts treated with toxic chemicals.
Instead, though, Beef Products Inc. is lashing out at the messenger, ABC News, which still, on occasion, tells the truth about some things. In this case, ABC News did the American public a great servic by exposing a food-like product in use in this country that has previously been banned in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere due to its toxicity.
It’s hardly surprising that the state of South Dakota is coming to bat for Beef Products Inc., considering that much of its landscape is occupied by corporate, chemical agriculture. Free speech apparently goes right out the window if you cross this major industrial powerhouse, which largely relies on hiding things like pink slime, GMOs, and other poisons in their food because consumers wouldn’t willingly purchase them otherwise.
One would think that an honest judge in middle America might consider the ramifications of poisoning the public with additives that aren’t properly labeled or indicated at the time of purchase. But to the contrary, Judge Gering thinks that Beef Products Inc.’s whining and boo-hoo moments over much-deserved profit losses are somehow a crime.
According to Courthouse News Service, the case as Beef Products Inc. has presented it will move forward, with the exception of Diane Sawyer being one of the defendants. A trial date has been set for June 5 in Elk Point, South Dakota, and could run for as long as eight weeks, depending on the proceedings.
“We are pleased that the Court dismissed all claims against Diane Sawyer,” ABC News said in a statement. “The Court has not ruled on the merits of the case against the other defendants, and we welcome the opportunity to defend the ABC News reports at trial and are confident that we will ultimately prevail.”
Read more news about the food supply at FoodSupply.news.