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Agriculture RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • In June 1997, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), citing concerns over a possible outbreak of BSE in the United States, announced a ban on the use of rendered beef and lamb in feed produced for cattle and sheep. That fact notwithstanding, in December 1997 a group of cattle-industry executives led by Paul Engler, owner of Cactus Feeders, Inc., filed suit in federal district court, alleging that disparaging statements about beef made by Winfrey and Lyman on the show had cost them $10.3 million in lost business. The suit specifically accused Winfrey and Lyman of false disparagement of a perishable food product, common-law business disparagement, defamation, and negligence. Under Texas’s food-disparagement law, persons are liable for “damages and any other appropriate relief” if they disseminate information that states or implies that a perishable food product is not safe for public consumption, provided that the information is false and the persons know or should have known that it is false. The law defines “false” as not based on “reasonable and reliable scientific inquiry, facts, or data.” The law makes no provision for damages or relief for the defendant if the suit filed against him or her is unsuccessful.
    Monday, February 5, 2018 1:10 PM