Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 9.58.53 AM.pngI was asked by a reporter yesterday why I work as hard as I do and seem to spend so much time in airplanes and airports. Here are just a couple of reasons, and a couple of clients:

In 2007, a 19-year-old dancer, Stephanie Smith, sickened by E. coli-tainted hamburger, was left brain damaged and paralyzed and with $2,500,000 in medical bills. Her story found its way to the front page of the New York Times in 2009 and landed the paper and its investigative reporter, Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize. Her case against Cargill settled shortly before trial in 2010 for an amount “to care for her for life.”

Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 9.58.39 AM.pngIn 2009 Linda Rivera, a 57-year-old mother of six from Nevada, was stricken with what one doctor described as “the severest multi-organ (bowel, kidney, brain, lung, gall bladder, pancreas) case of E. coli mediated Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome I have seen in my extensive experience.” Linda’s story hit the front page of the Washington Post and became Senator Harry Reid’s touchstone for moving the Food Safety Bill in 2010. Linda, as of today, has been hospitalized since May of 2009 and has incurred nearly $5,500,000 in medical expenses.

I still have much more to do.

  • Jeff Almer

    Bill–You have left an INDELIBLE mark for all things INEDIBLE in the food industry and are a hero of mine. Don’t ever lose the passion and energy to have accountability in the industry.

  • Dog Doctor

    Bill, we thank you for the work that you do. Through your efforts to keep company’s honest and responsible, you have taken up the slack when agencies didn’t have the budgets to pursue these companies. If you look at the number of actions that FDA took from 2001 to 2007, you will see that in FY 07 tha FDA took exactly half as many actions as they did in FY01 which was a reflections in the Bush budget cuts. Many of us FDA at the time were thankful for your actions when we could not. As we face dark budget times in the coming years, even though I am not with FDA anymore, my friends still in the agency and myself wish you good health and a long life so you can keep protecting America’s health.

  • Gabrielle Meunier

    Even if the FDA and the CDC and HHS Branch were optimal, we would still need you Bill. You are the check in the balance. The American public assumes that food is safe because our government keeps it that way. We know that isn’t necessarily true as agencies are limited in scope and funding and law. The system is imperfect. We hope the food modernization law will help, but there will always be more than can be done.

  • Richard and Linda Rivera

    I only have two words to say “THANK YOU”

  • I salute you for your dedication towards your work and I am sure it must feel great to make a positive difference in life of people.