Black People : Judge: Iowa State U. must shield 'pink slime' data

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  1. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Feb 7, 2004
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    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the beef-processing company that makes the product dubbed "pink slime" by critics.
    District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the records would damage Beef Products, Inc. by revealing information about its proprietary food-processing techniques. Releasing them also would eliminate revenue that Iowa State laboratories receive from companies, who would go elsewhere for testing if they feared results were public records, he said.
    "I think it's in the best interest of the companies that do business in Iowa, the general public, and the university," said attorney John Bickel, who represented BPI.
    BPI, based in Dakota Dunes, S.D., filed legal action to block the release of records in 2010 after they were requested by Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm that specializes in food safety. The New York Times later sought the documents.
    BPI calls its signature product lean finely textured beef. It is made using a process in which trimmings left after a cow is butchered are heated, lean meat is separated from fat and ammonia is applied to kill bacteria. The product, widely used in ground hamburger, faced a nationwide backlash last year after media reports depicted it as unsavory, causing retailers and schools to stop using it and BPI to close plants in Iowa, Texas and Kansas. The company has filed a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC News and scientists who criticized the product.
    The research at issue was conducted by Iowa State microb