E. coli Outbreak in Europe

I’ve been following the news about the E. coli outbreak in Europe with great interest.

It began in northern Germany and the initial news reports referred to the “E. coli outbreak in Germany.”  However the latest news reports refer to the E. coli outbreak in Europe even though the source of the outbreak clearly seems to be located in northern Germany.

Let’s look at the collateral damage that’s been caused by the inability of German health officials to identify the source of the virus.  Reactions: http://bbc.in/mOFOPW

First the vegetable growers in Spain were broadsided when the source of the virus was alleged to be “organically grown” cucumbers from Spain.

Cucumbers from Spain – http://bit.ly/lTkrGD

Then came the warning not to eat any lettuce, tomatoes, or cucumbers.

This led other countries and particularly non-EU countries like Russia to ban the import of vegetables from the EU.  http://bbc.in/ikk5Ba

Hot on the trail of the virus, German health officials next, blamed “organically grown” vegetable sprouts as the source of the virus; naming an organic vegetable sprout farm in northern Germany as the source.  And while their were at it, why not name a restaurant in northern Germany as one of the locations where the outbreak first occurred.  It’s absolutely scandalous how many people have been falsely accused in this outbreak.

Here’s a link to this report: http://bbc.in/lyBq0B

Now the German health officials have reversed themselves once again and said that vegetable sprouts may not be the source of the virus.

Let’s take another look at the collateral damage from all this.  The Spanish vegetable farmers, all EU vegetable producers (Russian ban), the restaurant in northern Germany, the sprout producer in northern Germany, and organic farming in general.  The biggest losers – the unsuspecting victims who lost their lives to this terrible outbreak.  I also think the people of Germany and the EU lost something as well – trust in their government officials.  We expect our elected leaders to protect us from these types of problems through regulation and inspection.

E. coli is a virus found in human beings, cattle, and in other mammals.  The rise of this nasty bug in recent years can be traced to the industrialized production methods being used to raise livestock.  For example scientists know that feeding cattle corn (which by the way is not their normal food) leads to an increase in E. coli bacteria produced in their systems.  Why are we not looking at the most obvious source for this outbreak?  http://huff.to/lErIGq

Check out these links: http://bbc.in/lRuryhhttp://f24.my/lYeOP3

Here’s an interesting video commentary: http://bit.ly/mrPJ1Q

 

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