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NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota judge has given two men more time to respond to a $1 billion defamation lawsuit over a meat product that critics dubbed "pink slime."
Judge Steven Jensen granted a 30-day extension for Carl Custer and Gerald Zirnstein to respond to the lawsuit brought by Beef Products Inc.
Custer, a former federal food scientist, and Zirnstein, the USDA microbiologist who named the product "pink slime," must now respond to the suit by Nov. 19.
BPI sued the two men as well as ABC News for $1.2 billion in damages for roughly 200 statements about the product that aired on ABC News.
BPI attorney Dan Webb says the reports led consumers to believe the beef is not meat, but an unhealthy slime unfit for human consumption.