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Pink slime makers to file defamation suit

Sept. 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The South Dakota company responsible for making so-called "pink slime" said it will file a defamation lawsuit against an unnamed defendant for loss of sales.

Beef Product Inc. released a statement Wednesday announcing a news conference Thursday to provide details of the suit, the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal reported.

The company, based in Dakota Dunes, S.D., has had to close three of its four plans and cut more than 650 jobs since controversy over its lean, finely textured beef erupted in March. Many restaurants, supermarket chains and schools vowed not to use the processed beef in response to worries from consumers about the quality of the ground meat, the Journal reported.

Lean, finely textured beef is made up of the fatty scraps of beef left over after steaks and roasts are cut from cattle carcasses. Lean meat is separated from the fat in a centrifuge and is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill potentially deadly pathogens, the Journal reported.

BPI will be represented in the lawsuit by Dan Webb, chairman of Winston & Strawn LLP, the same attorney who defended former Illinois Gov. George Ryan in his corruption trial.

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