Filed Under: Food Scares

E.Coli Update: Activists’ Deafening Silence

Sometimes the best way to find out activists’ true intentions is to notice what they don’t say. Earlier this month, California’s Department of Health Services (DHS) announced that the spinach responsible for last September’s E.coli outbreak was grown on an organic farm. This confirms a widely-held suspicion that the activist-inspired storyline blaming conventional (read: "corporate") farming techniques for the villainous veggies is bogus.Not surprisingly, none of the self-proclaimed "consumer advocates" who hawked that fiction last September have recanted in light of the Department of Health’s announcement — that includes the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Center for Food Safety, and Consumer Reports magazine. The outrage they conjured up so quickly at the onset of the outbreak is now noticeably absent.Why’s that? Because the fact that spinach was contaminated at a small-scale (50-acre) organic farm doesn’t help them demonize major food companies. In the case of Consumer Reports, the only outrage they’ve been able to muster lately has been in response to the leafy green industry’s plan to institute a health & safety marketing program in April. (Companies voluntarily improving their product? Impossible!)It bears repeating that California’s E.coli outbreak got the attention that it did because food-borne illness is so rare in this country. Despite the rhetoric from radicals, Americans enjoy the safest food supply in the world — and it’s improving every day.

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