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Food

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Associated Press
In this March 29, 2012 file photo, the beef product known as "lean finely textured beef" is frozen on a large drum as part of its manufacturing process at the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in South Sioux City, Neb.

ABC News faces $1.2 billion lawsuit over 'pink slime' report

LINCOLN, Neb. – Beef Products Inc. has filed a defamation lawsuit against ABC News for its coverage of a meat product that critics dubbed "pink slime," alleging the network misled consumers to believe the product is unhealthy and unsafe.

The Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based company is seeking $1.2 billion in damages for roughly 200 "false and misleading and defamatory" statements about the product. The lawsuit, filed in a South Dakota court Thursday, also accuses ABC News of improper interference with the relationships between BPI and its customers.

BPI attorney Dan Webb said the reports led consumers to believe the beef is not meat, but an unhealthy slime unfit for human consumption.

ABC News senior vice president Jeffrey W. Schneider said the lawsuit has no merit. ABC News is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

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