(NAFB) – ABC News has asked a South Dakota federal court to dismiss claims it defamed Beef Products Inc. through reports about lean finely textured beef – labeling it pink slime. BPI initiated the lawsuit in September – and ABC News says the company is seeking to inhibit to free speech – challenging the right of a news organization to explore matters of obvious public interest. BPI – the nation’s largest producer of LFTB – is seeking 400-million dollars in compensatory damages for lost profit it says was caused by ABC’s reports. The news organization defends its use of the term pink slime – saying it’s the sort of loose, figurative or hyperbolic language courts recognize demands protection under the First Amendment. BPI Lawyer Erik Connolly says the plaintiffs will oppose the dismissal motion because they believe the complaint sets forth valid claims.