Defamation and Related Torts


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Activity:Defamation and Related Torts Assignment Complete the requiredreading and presentations in the Reading & Study folder of Module 6: Week6. Then, answer the Putting into Practice 13.10 on pp. 380 of the text.

Putting into Practice:

The CBS news program 60 Minutes airs a story based on a report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council discussing the detrimental effects of pesticide use by farmers. The program highlights the effects of the herbicide Alar, which is used by apple growers to stimulate growth and enhance apple appearance. As a result of the program some consumers boycott apples and apple products. Do apple growers have a viable cause of action against CBS and the Natural Resources Defense Council?


The court dismissed the case (and the appellate court affirmed the dismissal) on the ground that the growers failed to prove that the claims were verifiably false. In response the growers in several states introduced the so-called veggie libel laws, which authorize damages for the disparagement of any perishable agricultural product. Auvil v. CBS 60 Minutes, 800 F. Supp. 941 (E.D. Wash. 1992), affd, 67 F.3d 816 (9th Cir. 1995).