We only check for some e coli?

This from today’s New York Times,

For three years, the United States Department of Agriculture has been considering whether to make it illegal to sell ground beef tainted with the six lesser-known E. coli strains, which would give them the same outlaw status as their more famous cousin. The meat industry has resisted the idea, arguing that it takes other steps to keep E. coli out of the beef supply and that no outbreak involving the rarer strains has been definitively tied to beef.

They’re considering making it illegal?  The meat industry resists the idea?  No one in our house is a vegetarian for political reasons, but what reasonable person would put profit over human safety?  Unbelievable.

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  • mrr  On May 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I think there have been large outbreaks of some of these rare strains in the uk and Europe over the last 5 or so years – news reports here say it is mostly due to factory farming and antibiotics, and there are rumors e coli has spread to chicken! If you can’t shoot your own meat, maybe going veg isn’t so crazy…

  • sdmcclurg  On May 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    That’s a fine point, except that it was recently found on lettuce here in the US. This scares the hell out of me, which I blame on reading Fast Food Nation.

  • mrr  On May 28, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Yeah, no visiting petting zoos either, a bunch of London kids got e coli at one last year. But how are they testing for the other strains in Europe but not the US?

  • sdmcclurg  On May 28, 2010 at 6:27 am

    As I understand it–and that’s not saying much–the EU has much stricter policy about food safety than the US. That’s due in part, I’d guess, to the early appearance of Mad Cow in England and the fact that the Ag Department here is really more an ally of industrial food production than a consumer protection agency. If you haven’t read Fast Food Nation, you might check it, especially the chapter covering food safety.

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