Shortly before the New York Times article, “Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned,” was published, we sent a request to the Iowa State University and Dr. James S. Dickson PhD, asking for all documents related to research on the ammonia beef products sold by Beef Products Inc., (BPI). The University informed us that they had compiled 1650 pages of documents and that it would cost $2,175.44. We sent them the check.
Apparently, BPI does not what us or the public to have those documents so it sued Iowa State. As you may recall from the Times article:
The company, Beef Products Inc., had been looking to expand into the hamburger business with a product made from beef that included fatty trimmings the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil. The trimmings were particularly susceptible to contamination, but a study commissioned by the company showed that the ammonia process would kill E. coli as well as salmonella.
The treated beef landed in Washington in 2001, when federal officials were searching for ways to eliminate E. coli. 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.” I would have assumed BPI, the USDA/FSIS and the beef industry would feel the same way? Well, BPI did not. See letter from Iowa State Counsel and Injunction from BPI Counsel. This is going to be interesting.