BPI LAWSUIT: Defamation Suit Over Moniker

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Beef Products Incorporated plans to file a defamation lawsuit in connection with a slang term for its lean finely textured beef product.

KTIV is reporting BPI will hold a news conference Thursday morning at its headquarters in South Dakota to announce the lawsuit.

Controversy erupted earlier this year after the term “pink slime” was used to refer to the product. It was coined by a former USDA employee several years ago, but spread like wildfire this year after food-related sites and major news entities began using the term.

Finely textured beef is made from fatty bits of meat left over from other cuts. The bits are heated to remove fat then exposed to ammonia to kill bacteria. The Iowa Beef industry says the process is 100% safe.

After outrage from consumers several grocery stores and companies said they would not use the product or sell products that contained it. Hy-Vee was one of those companies, but has since started selling it again.

BPI closed its Waterloo plant in May because of a decrease in demand for lean finely textured beef. About 200 people lost their jobs.