IOWA CITY, Iowa – A judge blocked Iowa State Univ. from releasing documents about food safety research on lean finely textured beef, according to the Associated Press.
District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled in March that releasing the documents would damage Beef Products Inc. by revealing information about its processing methods. The judge also ruled that releasing the documents would cut off revenues to Iowa State’s laboratories by creating a chilling effect among companies, fearing their confidential information could become public record.
Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm specializing in food safety litigation, and The New York Times requested the documents. Prominent food safety attorney Bill Marler is representing two defendants in a defamation lawsuit launched by BPI against them, ABC News and several other broadcast journalists.
The research in question was conducted by James Dickson, a microbiologist at Iowa State, according to AP. BPI hired Dickson as a food safety consultant. His research showed that BPI’s process of using ammonia makes LFTB safer by killing pathogens.