Beef Products Inc. filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against ABC News for its coverage of the meat product critics were calling "pink slime."
The controversy caused a plant in Waterloo, Iowa to shut down in May.
Beef Products Inc., based in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, says the network made people think the product wasn't safe. The network's vice president says that's not true.
Company officials have long insisted that the product is safe and healthy, and blamed the closure of three plants and roughly 700 layoffs on what they viewed as a smear campaign.
The lean, textured beef trimmings were the subject of many media reports earlier this year and also have drawn comments from television chefs and food commentators. The term "pink slime" was coined by a former U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist.
Before the controversy, the product was known as lean finely textured beef.