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New Developments in Poultry Suit

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By Associated Press

Tulsa, OK – Motion seeks to exclude testimony from professor

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Poultry companies being sued by Oklahoma for allegedly polluting the Illinois River watershed want a judge to exclude the testimony of one of the state's expert witnesses in the case.

In a 431-page motion filed Friday in federal court, the poultry companies say that testimony offered by Valerie Harwood is unreliable and would be "confusing and unfairly prejudicial if presented to a lay jury."

Harwood, a professor at the University of South Florida, testified last year that she had identified a poultry litter-specific "biomarker," and reportedly traced a path that contamination from poultry waste travels from fields into the watershed.

But the poultry companies point out in their motion that Harwood's work has been "severely criticized" and rejected by a leading journal.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.