First Amendment

Standing Up for Citizen Journalism

by Bettina Elias Siegel on September 29, 2014

Back in July, many of you saw an Associated Press story which reported that “[s]everal food writers, including a New York Times reporter, have been subpoenaed by a meat producer as part of its $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC in regards to the network’s coverage of a beef product dubbed ‘pink slime’ by critics.” Because of my successful […]


Is It Wrong to Market Even *Healthy* Food to Kids?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 26, 2013

That’s the contention put forth by public health lawyer Michele Simon (Eat Drink Politics) and Susan Linn, Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, in a recent article. Noting — as I often have on this blog — that cognitive deficits make children especially vulnerable to the persuasive power of advertising, Simon and Linn object to any […]


Yesterday I learned that Bruce Smith, a former environmental health and safety officer at Beef Products Inc., has filed a pro se lawsuit in Nebraska state court relating to last spring’s controversy over BPI’s lean, finely textured beef product.  I’m one of the named defendants, along with ABC News, Jim Avila, Diane Sawyer and Jamie Oliver. […]


Beef Products Inc., maker of lean, finely textured beef (aka LFTB and commonly referred to as “pink slime”) has announced this morning that it is filing a state court defamation lawsuit against ABC News arising out of the network’s coverage of the product this past spring.   The suit seeks $1.2 billion dollars in actual […]


Just before the “slime wave” hit, I was in the middle of a draft TLT post analyzing a scholarly article proposing that tighter restrictions on the advertising of junk food to kids are not barred by the First Amendment, a key defense offered by the food industry against such restrictions. As a former lawyer — […]