Poultry Lawyers Urge Judge To Scratch Expert Methodology Flawed, Critics Contend

US - Fresh off Monday's success, lawyers representing the poultry industry took aim Tuesday at eliminating another expert witness from a pending lawsuit.

The expert is designated to testify that exposure to arsenic from the spreading of chicken litter is causing cancer in Prairie Grove.

Rod O'Connor, a chemist and retired professor of environmental studies at Baylor University, is the plaintiffs' star witness in the case. He's expected to testify that the poultry feed additive Roxarsone turns into a toxic form of arsenic as it degrades in chicken litter.

The arsenic is then transported through the air to area homes after the litter is spread on fields as fertilizer, he is expected to say.

O'Connor claims his sampling of dust from houses and schools in Prairie Grove shows an arsenic "fingerprint" that matches that of chicken litter.

Lawyers for the chicken companies are trying to convince Washington County Circuit Judge Kim Smith to exclude O'Connor's testimony from the trial. They were able to get the testimony of Arthur Fisk, a psychologist, excluded Monday.

Robert George, an attorney for Tyson Foods, led the assault on O'Connor on Tuesday, saying the data O'Connor used is so flawed it can't be used to form scientific opinions. The results were biased to show high levels of arsenic, he said.

The Morning News
calendar icon 5 April 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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