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BPI Sues to Keep Ammonia Beef Records Private - Food Safety News - Global Food Safety News & Information : Presented By Marler C

Business  (tags: beef, ammonia, Beef Products Inc, BPI, lawsuit, hamburger, food safety )

- 3427 days ago -
Right before the New York Times published an article questioning the pervasive use of ammonia in beef processing, lawyers at Marler Clark, LLP, a food safety litigation firm based in Seattle, sent a formal request to Iowa State University seeking public r


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Karen S (106)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 5:54 am
Right before the New York Times published an article questioning the pervasive use of ammonia in beef processing
, lawyers at Marler Clark, LLP, a food safety litigation firm based in Seattle, sent a formal request to Iowa State University seeking public records related to the research a University professor did on the safety of ammoniated beef. Beef Products Inc. (BPI), the company that pioneered the ammonia processing technique, has since filed a suit seeking a court order against the university to prevent public records from being released.

According to The Times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and BPI relied on research from an Iowa State professor to show that the process was effective in killing E. coli and other dangerous pathogens.

"[USDA officials] decided it was so effective that in 2007, when the department began routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the general public, they exempted [BPI]," reported The Times' Michael Moss. "Beef Products already had one study showing its treatment would do that; another company-sponsored study by an Iowa State University professor that was published in a professional journal seconded that finding."

"Frankly, I thought the public should know what BPI, the USDA/FSIS, and the beef industry were relying on to serve us the ammonia 'fatty trimmings the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil'," Bill Marler, managing partner at Marler Clark, said on his blog last week. "I would have assumed BPI, the USDA, and the beef industry would feel the same way. Well, BPI did not."

Denis Stearns, also a partner at Marler Clark, was likewise critical of BPI's petition for injunction.

"BPI's attempt to stop the disclosure of public records is as unsurprising as it is questionable," said Stearns.

"The records that we--and several news organizations--sought, all involve research that supposedly confirmed the safety of ammonia-treated beef trimming, research that was published in a widely disseminated article, and that was partly-funded by the state of Iowa and the USDA," said Stearns.

BPI's complaint states that all the work performed by the Iowa State professor, referred to as an "independent contractor," including "testing, test results, evaluation, assessment, and/or analysis thereof, is proprietary, confidential, constitutes valuable trade secrets of BPI pursuant to law, and any records or documents created as a result thereof are the property of BPI," and not the university.

BPI asserts that the disclosure of such information would "cause irreparable injury" to the company.

Stearns said BPI's claim that every single page of the over 1,650 page research document contained confidential trade secrets was "pretty laughable."

According to Stearns, BPI's action is unforunate, "The University is now stuck between properly responding to our records request and the threat of a court-ordered injunction. That leaves it to us to fight on behalf of the public's right to know.

"Marler Clark has told Iowa State that it would like to uphold its request for the research documents. The firm sent a letter to the university requesting additional information on the documents last week and is waiting for a response."

Tierney G (381)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 8:10 am
This is outrageous! It is yet another buisiness trying to save their precious money instead of informing the public on to what they are actually eating. Our food supply is in real jeopardy not just meat but also vegetables. This I believe is a direct problem with overpopulation and it is getting worse everyday. How does any food industry expect to keep this large a supply of food safe without going to these extreme measures? We need population control desperately! Thanks for this eye opening article Karen!

. (0)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 11:57 am
Thannnxxx for sharing this article... one definitley has to be proacative when buying ones food, we as the publc should demand more product information on the wrapping.. otherwise boycott

Arielle S (313)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 1:33 pm
Blehhh - disgusting stuff, but gee, why do we need to know if somebody is slowly poisoning us? It's not like it's our body or anything, is it? Taking my tongue out of my cheek now, I suggest we sue them all for attempted homocide.

MmAway M (519)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 3:16 pm


Your news is always for informative I feel ill about what is going on!!!

Thank you -- I will forward this one before I jump off!!!

Karen S (106)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 3:38 pm
Thanks for your comments all. I am appalled that this should even be considered protected information. It's our FOOD for @$%^## sake!

patricia lasek (317)
Friday January 29, 2010, 3:48 am
Well, corporations are people too. Killing us slowly, and not wirh kindness!

Anna M (18)
Friday January 29, 2010, 9:39 am
Corporations have been and will be the death of us. Some poison us through our environment, some through our food, some through their so-called medicines, and some through the poisoning of our minds, getting their candidates into office where they can provide more tax breaks and less regulation on the poisoning of us. They get tax breaks to do it. Americans have to stop being silent victims.

Barbara W (342)
Friday January 29, 2010, 11:43 am
AS if the Mad Cow scare wasn't enough! Now this. Corporations will not only be the death of US Anna, I believe that they are charged to do what they do.. Why else are they given time to pull off these deadly actions where our food, which we need to live, is being altered in such a way that, in time, we fall ill and or die? What better way then to poison a people in order to eliminate numbers..It takes 20 years for Mad Cow to show it's ugly side. By then, it's too late. Ammonia is not good for the body but more especially the kidneys..What madness is this!

If you're not aware of recent abuse of power events, this may enlighten those who are not. America's Supreme Court has voted to give the already dangerous, conniving, willfully egregious, CORPORATIONS, which would include the likes, though not limited too, MONSANTO, a green light so they can put the final nail in the coffin of the people, not only of America, but the world at large which they deem expendable!

No one will ever convince me that the wealthy, who I believe are knowledge able to this danger, eat what the average person must eat due to what the Corporate stores offer them at a so called affordable price..

If these words above sound scary that's because what's going now, for many years, is FRANKENSTEIN, scary. These Corporations have had a free reign to do as they please and many of these corporations control what goes into our food and or how its grown. This issue is dire and demands all the people of the world take a hard look at who leads their country and what their leaders are doing to protect their own countrymen..

American's have been waking up, albeit it's taken some time. I have written about the dangers of Aspartame since I have experienced it's side effects and know of someone who drank diet (Aspartame) cola and developed not only type 2 diabetes but her personality was damaged as well.

Growth Hormones ,


Genetically altered corn causing major problems

Tenderizing juices added to meat,

I hope these links help those of you reading this have a better understanding of why what America's Supreme court did recently was as dangerous as these Corps FRANKENSTEIN FOODS. GO here...Please Join hands with the people of the world including Americans who are saying NO to this ruling by several of our Supreme Court justices who have abused the power invested in them on many counts when one realizes the ramifications in front of US not to forget what these companies have already done to the health and welfare of humans...

Go here and sign up. Join US Let US join hands as one people, sharing this fragile planet, and show the Corporations and the American Supreme Court that "WE" will not tolerate this FRANKENSTEIN approach towards our food, water, health by those who control these life sustaining resources. JOIN US

If the world unites on this day of the march, to be set soon, the power brokers breaking down the fabric of America's health and welfare also threatening the worlds people, as well the planet, will know that people "Dare" speak truth to power. If you can only stand outside your home with a protest sign, it would be great. Send letters to America's leaders about the latest Supreme Court ruling since this is your right as the Corporation arm stretches far and wide and with this egregious ruling will have a free hand to do even more harm then many of them, like Monsanto, have already done....

Peace, Barbara

Barbara W (342)
Friday January 29, 2010, 12:40 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Karen because you have done so within the last week.

MmAway M (519)
Friday January 29, 2010, 7:33 pm
Karen dear friend finally was able to send you a star for this one...will be MIA for awhile....

Cheree M (46)
Saturday January 30, 2010, 2:52 am
Sadly noted w/ anger & disgust.

Rianne ten Veen (79)
Saturday January 30, 2010, 8:32 am
this is disgusting! Thanks for alerting us (depressing, but better than to be in the dark!)

Barbara West (0)
Sunday January 31, 2010, 10:21 am
Vegan is a much healthier way to live...
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