SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A federal judge has moved a South Dakota beef processing company's lawsuit against ABC News for defamation back to state court.

Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. for defamation over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime." The company is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.

ABC argued that two of the companies listed in the lawsuit, BPI Technology Inc. and Freezing Machines Inc., are not true parties and the case should be thrown out.

But BPI argued that all three companies have a stake in making the product called lean, finely textured beef.

Judge Karen Schreier on Wednesday ordered the case back to the circuit court in Union County.

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