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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

It has been 14 months since we filed a Petition with FSIS to deem certain E. coli Adulterants

e_colio157(1).jpgOn the long flight home from D.C., as I was thinking about what appears to be the lost battle over new Food Safety legislation, I was also thinking about what I can do personally to make our food supply safer, and I thought that it has been over a year since we filed the Petition for an Interpretive Rule Declaring enterohemorrhagic Shiga Toxin-producing Serotypes of Escherichia coli, Including Non-O157 Serotypes, to be Adulterants Within the Meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 601(m)(1) with the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). Since I filed the Petition in October 2009, I have also filed two supplements – See, First and Second.

When I filed the Petition, Mead, et. al., estimated that non-O157 STECs (like O26, O45, 0103, O111, O121, and O145) caused 36,00 illnesses, 1,000 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in America each year. Now, admittedly, not all, or most of these illnesses and deaths were caused by vectors overseen by FSIS, but clearly some have.

However, earlier this week the CDC released the new estimates of illnesses caused by non-O157 STECs has risen to over 160,000 ill yearly. Hospitalizations and deaths are lower because many non-O157 STECs do not cause severe illness, but O26, O45, 0103, O111, O121, and O145 certainly do.

It is time for FSIS to move forward on deeming at least O26 (arguably already does), O45, 0103, O111, O121, and O145 adulterants. With the numbers from the CDC of ill higher, it is time for the government to act before more people are sickened or before a Court forces them to do their job.

  • Bill Anderson

    So Bill, when are you going to start petitioning to deem Monsanto’s Roundup as an adulterant? Or rBGH horomones?
    There is a good reason the food safety bill failed. It has nothing to do with food safety. It only has to do with increasing the power of FDA and corporate agri-business.
    A suggested read for you:

  • Gabrielle Meunier

    Bill A, I noticed on your link that a Consumers Union scientist was on the panel for the Dr. Oz show regareding GMO’s. Do you know that Consumers Union was one of the most ardent supporters of the Food Safety Bill? Why would this be? Because this bill is about pathogen prevention and about better coordination between agencies. AND the Bill passed! If you feel the GMO’s need a Bill written to prevent them in the food stream, starting lobbying for it. Perhaps Senator Coburn would be happy to submit a bill on GMO’s?