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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

The ongoing battle against non-O157 E. coli

n6250307292_7146_x200.jpgDina ElBoghdady from the Washington Post wrote again on the ongoing process to list pathogens that sicken over 100,000 a year in the U.S. as adulterants – “USDA to test beef for more strains of E. coli.”

For those readers of my blog (thanks mom), I have taken up much space – even more than raw milk – on these pages in an effort to get certain additional E. coli’s deemed adulterants in the eyes of the USDA/FSIS.  If you type in the word “Petition” into the search bar above you can track my history on the issue or read – “It is past time for the USDA/FSIS to deem “the Big Six” E. coli as adulterants” and all the attached links.  So, it likely comes as no surprise that I found myself in the Washington Post this morning:

Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer who had represented victims of the Jack in the Box outbreak, was not satisfied. He petitioned the USDA to ban dozens of E. coli strains from the food supply. In support, he detailed the case of Maryland woman who died after eating bagged baby spinach, a Utah woman who suffered permanent kidney damage after eating a fast-food meal, and an Oklahoma woman who also suffered kidney failure. Marler said each victim had been infected by a different E. coli strain.

The Petition came after I spent $500,000 to see what the incidence of non-O157 E. coli was in the retail hamburger supply.

However, where this issue is did not come about because of my petition.  There were good scientists at the CDC and at FSIS – Dr. Hagen and Dr. Raymond – consumer groups like CSPI, STOP, CFI, Consumer Federation, PEW, and yes, industry leaders like BPI (of “pink slime” fame), Costco – and many unnamed – who stepped up and said the time had come.

Now, let’s make sure that the June 4, 2012 start date stays.  OMB, we are watching.

As the mother of one child said. “If these tests save just one life, isn’t it worth it?”

There has been coverage on this before too.

  • doc raymond

    Having the Post publishing this story will help guarantee the June start up date, I think. What I don’t get is Mark Dopp’s statement that a fraction of “perfectly safe meat” will have to be destroyed. It is statments like that that cost the industry credibility. Meat contaminated with E coli pathogens should be destroyed, or as often happens, cooked. And it is not perfectly safe if it has the ability to kill my Grandkids. Mark, please explain your statement for us.

  • JC

    I think the start date may be June 4, 2012.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    thanks – I fixed it.