Animal Rights/ Environment/ Health

F.D.A. – easing their confusion!


Angry Doctors Use 1,000 Tomatoes To Spell Out Salmonella Source For FDA: “It’s The Meat, Stupid!”

Demonstration July 8 at U.S. Health and Human Services Seeks FDA Focus on Animal Agriculture’s Key Role in Foodborne Illnesses Linked to Tomatoes

WASHINGTON—As the Food and Drug Administration enters the 13th week of its struggle to identify the source of the salmonella outbreak that has reached 38 states and the District of Columbia, doctors will spell it out for them—quite literally. Doctors from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) will use more than 1,000 tomatoes arranged to write “IT’S THE MEAT, STUPID!” in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building at 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., on Tuesday morning. They aim to highlight the key role of meat industry pollution in spreading salmonella, E. coli, and other foodborne pathogens that affect thousands of Americans every year.

“Salmonella are intestinal bacteria, and tomatoes have no intestine,” PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., says. “These germs come from chicken and cow feces that contaminate waterways used for irrigation and contaminate kitchen counters and grocery store shelves.”   

A dangerous salmonella strain dubbed “salmonella saintpaul” has sickened more than 900 Americans in recent weeks. Pollution from animal agriculture is the most likely original source. Like E. coli, salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals and are usually transmitted to humans from food contaminated with animal feces. As a recent Pew Commission Report on industrial farm animal production noted, untreated animal waste harboring pathogens contaminates air, water, soil, and crops. Farm animal waste was the identified cause of a 2006 E. coli outbreak in which infected spinach killed three people and sickened hundreds of others, according to an investigation by the FDA, an agency within Health and Human Services.

Dr. Barnard pointed out that infected cows and chickens, not tomatoes or other vegetables, are the ultimate source of dangerous outbreaks of foodborne illness. The problem needs to be attacked at the source, in the factory farms, ranches, and feedlots where infected animals produce waste that contaminates healthful produce. Salmonella are currently found on approximately one-third of chicken products in retail stores, and feces from chickens and other animals carry the bacteria to other food products. Consumers can fight foodborne illnesses by choosing meatless meals.

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  • JohnnySensible (32 comments)
    July 25, 2008 at 10:24 am

    This was the Press Release –

  • cookiem (8 comments)
    July 25, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Hot tomatoes! All in all the PCRM is a wonderful group! How nice though to send such a clear, simple message to make people think. I hope a lot of people got to see it. Maybe if it were on a weekend, there might have been more traffic?

    Interesting how the concern here in the US is now focusing on jalapeno peppers as salmonella culprits.

    Dangerous situation this is, using animal waste from sickened, improperly cared for animals for the meat industry to get rid of its waste control problem as “fertilizer.” Filthy business….

  • JohnnySensible (32 comments)
    July 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Time to promote Fowlie Poopsalot again!


  • JohnnySensible (32 comments)
    July 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Yes – it must be the Jalapeno’s – blame the Mexican’s –


    “Salmonella are intestinal bacteria, and tomatoes have no intestine,”

    & neither do Jalapeno’s! ! !

  • gr8vegan (4 comments)
    July 30, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks for the post! We need to send this info out to the irresponsible media who aren’t reporting the story correctly.

  • xetvx (29 comments)
    August 2, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Thank you for this- It is so frustrating when a non vegan says, “hey so much for your healthy vegetables, huh”

    Now I have a clear, outlined, quoted passage that will help clarify the circumstances around tainted veggies!

    I will be circulating this message. I sure hope everyone else does as well.

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