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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

A South Dakota judge has refused to dismiss the defamation lawsuit brought by Beef Products Incorporated (BPI) against ABC News.

BPI is suing ABC for 1.2 billion dollars, claiming the network harmed its reputation and cost it sales by mischaracterizing its "lean finely textured beef" as "pink slime" in reports that aired in early 2012.

In seeking to dismiss the case, ABC argued that it never said BPI's product was unsafe, and that the case was an attempt to chill media coverage of the industry and inhibit free speech.

While not deciding whether defamation actually occurred, Circuit Court judge Cheryle Gering did say that the context of some of ABC's statements, to which BPI objected, justified allowing the company to continue its case.

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