The legal battle over the product known as "pink slime" is getting personal.

In May, Beef Products Inc, the South Dakota-based company that produced "lean finely textured beef" using bits and pieces of cattle carcasses, shut down production at its three factories, and then sued ABC and Jamie Oliver for their role in impugning its brand integrity. Now 58-year-old Bruce Smith, the former senior counsel at Beef Products HQ, is doing much the same thing, suing several media figures who criticized "pink slime," including Oliver and ABC's Diane Sawyer, for compensation for losing his job.

Both suits claim that segments on Oliver and Sawyer's show improperly defamed Beef Products by making "pink slime" out to be dangerous and disgusting, partially by using that name.

Smith's suit, which asks the court for $70,000 in damages, also names blogger Bettina Siegel (who occasionally contributes to The Huffington Post) and targets 10 unnamed defendants as complicit in the scheme to defame Beef Products Inc. The AP explains:

Smith's lawsuit further claims that Oliver used his television show and social media to target BPI, and that Siegel used her popular food blog and social media to gain signatures in an online campaign to remove the product from the National School Lunch Program.

"Defendant Oliver proceeded to use his celebrity chef media notoriety to place pressure on American fast food company McDonald's, and others, to immediately stop using LFTB ground beef in its retail menu food products," the lawsuit said.

Several fast food companies, including McDonald's Corp., stopped using the product after the uproar, and major supermarket chains vowed to stop selling beef containing the low-cost product. Only three states – Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota – participating in the National School Lunch Program have continued to order ground beef with the product.

Both Smith and the company (which is asking for a whopping $1.2 billion in damages) face an uphill battle with this case. U.S. courts have traditionally put a high threshold on defamation suits, in the interest of protecting freedom of the press.

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    Turns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets. <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/06/30/how-make-chicken-tenders?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=6-scary-things" target="_hplink">Try these homemade chicken tenders instead, for fuel-free fuel</a>. Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/05/09/future-fast-food?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=6-scary-things" target="_hplink">and fast food.</a> <em> Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/spilt-milk/639108699/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">yoppy</a>.</em>

  • Estrogen

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  • Spinach Dust

    Think that green sheen on your veggie snacks is giving you your daily serving of vegetables? Think again. That's just powdered spinach dust, which is spinach that has been <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/10/26/tested-nesco-snackmaster-express?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=6-scary-things" target="_hplink">dehydrated and sucked dry of its nutritional value.</a> So the upshot is that green sheen is about as nutritious as actual dust. Found in: "Healthier" vegetable flavored snack foods. <em>Photo from Wegmans.com</em>

  • Propylene Glycol, A.K.A antifreeze

    Antifreeze is used in cars, pills, cosmetics, deodorant, moisturizer...and, in a way, food! <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/12/29/whats-deal-food-car-dealers?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=6-scary-things" target="_hplink">It keeps your car from freezing over,</a> your moisturizer moist, and your fat-free cookie dough ice cream creamy, smooth and juicy. If it's good enough for your SUV it's good enough to eat, right? Right?? Right??? Found in: Cake mix, salad dressings, low-fat ice creams and dog food.

  • Wood Pulp: Vanillin

    Vanillin, which is a byproduct of the pulp industry, is used as an artificial vanilla flavor. Ester of wood rosin, which comes from pine stumps, is in citrus-flavored sodas to keep the citrus flavor evenly distributed through the can <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/06/13/5-best-natural-sodas?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=6-scary-things" target="_hplink">(try these natural ones if you're cutting down on pine stumps).</a> Found in: Artificially flavored yogurt, baked goods, candy and sodas

  • Castoreum

    Castoreum comes out of a beaver's behind -- it's extracted from their anal glands -- and is used to make artificial raspberry flavoring. Try not to think about that next time you order the diet raspberry tea. Found in: Artificially raspberry flavored products such as cheap ice cream, Jell-O, candy, <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/06/02/rating-pomegranate-a%C3%A7ai-vita-coco?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=6-scary-things" target="_hplink">fruit-flavored drinks</a>, teas and yogurts.