Back in March, a South Dakota judge couldn't really find anything frivolous about Beef Product Inc.'s small-nation-GDP-size $1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC News for its 2012 report, which introduced "pink slime" into the lexicon of grocery store shoppers and effectively devastated producers of what's technically known by the less-slimy industry name "lean finely textured beef." In addition to naming Diane Sawyer in its suit, BPI has now subpoenaed five food writers: Pulitzer-winning Times reporter Michael Moss, food-safety crusader Michele Simon, and three Food Safety News reporters.
The beef producer is trying to obtain correspondence the writers had with ABC during its investigation. A Times spokesperson says Moss's subpoena has already been stayed, however, and the AP reports that Simon simply "doesn't keep emails dating back to 2012." Simon has dismissed the case, which has a "proposed 2017 trial date," as "a fishing expedition." This could extend to anyone who's ever published the words "pink slime" in print or online.