Dec 17, 2013 5:01 PM by AP
ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) - A lawyer for ABC is asking a judge to throw out a defamation suit over its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef.
Beef Products Inc. in South Dakota sued ABC and ABC News Inc. last year over the network's reports about the product critics have dubbed "pink slime."
The Dakota Dunes-based meat processor claims the network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing the product is unhealthy and unsafe. BPI is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.
Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering is listening to arguments Tuesday afternoon.
ABC attorney Kevin Baine says the network in each of its broadcasts stated that the Food and Drug Administration deemed the product safe to eat.
But BPI attorney Eric Connolly says said those statements were coupled with negative context.