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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Salmonella Turtles Attack in 33 States

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Associated with Exposure to Turtles — United States, 2007–2008

As of January 18, 2008, a total of 103 cases with isolates indistinguishable from the outbreak strain had been reported to CDC from 33 states. Of the 100 patients for whom age information was available (median age: 7.5 years; range: <1–87 years), 56 (56%) were aged <10 years. Fifty-two (51%) of the 101 patients for whom the sex was known were female. Illness onset dates ranged from May 4, 2007, to December 15, 2007. Among the 78 patients for whom clinical information was available, 51 (65%) reported bloody diarrhea, with a median duration of illness of 7 days; 24 (30%) of the 80 patients for whom hospitalization status was known were hospitalized for their illnesses, with a median duration of 4 days. Among the 80 patients questioned about turtle exposure, 47 (59%) reported turtle exposure during the 7 days before illness onset. No deaths were reported.

Wait a second, didn’t the CDC publish another MMWR report of illness traced to turtles that came from Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina last year too?  According to the CDC, other reptiles and amphibians have been linked to illnesses as well.  I guess no kissing the frog to figure out if it is really a prince.

In July of last year I blogged about – “Salmonella Death in Florida – Turtles to blame – Again”

It what must rank up there with one of the more stupid moves by Congress (I know there are many), on May 2, 2007, according to Senator Mary Landrieu, “in A 93-1 vote, the United States Senate today passed S. 1082, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Revitalization Act, which includes a key amendment offered by Senator Landrieu, that would lift the current ban on the sale of baby turtles in the United States.” The Senator goes on to say:

"My amendment frees Louisiana’s turtle farmers from outdated FDA regulations that have crippled them for more than 30 years," Senator Landrieu said. "This is a great success for our agriculture industry, and I am proud that I could work with the Senate leadership to get this key provision passed. I urge the House to follow the Senate and pass this legislation so that the President can sign it and our farmers can have the freedom they need to provide safe and healthy turtles to America’s children and families."

Now here is the real issue:

“There are approximately 78 turtle farmers in Louisiana, comprising a $9.4 million industry.”
Check the campaign donations.  What is Congress thinking? Might I suggest an email campaign to the good Senator? Here is her press agents email: scott_schneider@landrieu.senate.gov