18 February 1998
US judge gets tough on cattlemen in Oprah trial

THE US judge presiding over the Oprah Winfrey case said the cattlemen taking action against Winfrey had failed to show that she defamed their industry under Texass “veggie libel” laws.

The “veggie libel” legislation forbids anyone from making false statements about perishable agricultural products.

Judge Mary Lou Robinson said the case would continue today as a “common law business disparagement” suit. This means the plaintiffs will have a higher burden of proof.

The cattlemen claim that one of Winfreys shows in April 1996 misled viewers into thinking US beef was unsafe.

  • Financial Times 18/02/98 page 3
  • The Guardian 18/02/98 page 13