Arkansas and Oklahoma are not getting along these days and a debate about Campylobacter took center stage recently in the dispute.
It seems that Oklahoma wants Arkansas to help cleanup the Illinois River by stopping the spreading of "poultry litter." It basically sounds like Arkansas lets Tyson Foods and others spread chicken poop throughout the land. And–surprise, surprise–its hell on the water quality. As for the Campylobacter debate, reporter Robert J. Smith at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette provides the play-by-play, which occurred in court. Here goes:
Christopher Teaf, associate director of biomedical research at Florida State University in Tallahassee… in particular, drew pointed questions from (Tyson attorney Robert) George, a Fayetteville attorney. Teaf said Adair County in Oklahoma had 10 illnesses related to campylobacter in 2005, but George suggested that the testimony didn’t paint a fair picture for U. S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell.
Campylobacter is a common bacteria that can cause infection and diarrhea.
George accused Teaf of cherry-picking evidence to support the state’s theories about poultry litter contamination and bacteria — but ignoring evidence that refutes those theories.
Teaf didn’t mention that three other Oklahoma counties in the watershed — Sequoyah, Cherokee and Delaware — had incidents of campylobacter lower than the state average.
Louis Bullock, a private attorney working for the state, asked Teaf why he didn’t mention the other counties.
“Why is Adair County important ?” Bullock asked.
“It’s immediately adjacent to Arkansas,” Teaf said.
“And what do you find a concentration of in Arkansas ?” Bullock asked.
“Chicken,” Teaf said.
Lot’s more on OK’s fight for clean water here.