More proof industial farming is hazardous to America’s health

The proof that industrial farming is hazardous to our health may not be in the puddling but it is in the beef and tomatoes.”

There are two national epidemics occurring in America. One is the result of eating tomatoes infected with salmonella. The second is the result of hamburger infected with E. coli O157:H7.

According to the CDC, 552 people in 32 states have been infected with salmonella by eating tomatoes. At least 53 persons have been hospitalized. The specific type and source of tomatoes is under investigation; however, the data suggest that illnesses are linked to consumption of raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes, or any combination of these types of tomatoes, and to products containing these raw tomatoes. At least 53 persons were hospitalized.

The Center of Disease Control claims the following:

Approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are diseases of animal origin; approximately 60% of all human pathogens are zoonotic.

Each year, food borne pathogens cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States.

There have been 1.5 million West Nile virus infections since 1999. 2.5 billion people are at risk for dengue in more than 100 endemic countries with 50 million cases of dengue fever each year.

The map above marks out the states where outbreaks have occurred. The 10 states with the highest number of reported illnesses are Texas (265), New Mexico (73), Illinois (34), Arizona (29), Virginia (20), Maryland (18), Georgia (11), Missouri (10), New York (10), and Kansas (9). There have been 3 related illnesses reported in Ohio.

New Scientist columnist Ewen Callaway interviewed Keith Warriner, a food microbiologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Warriner said that the source of the salmonella bacteria probably comes from groundwater contaminated with animal feces. Once the bacteria get on or into a tomato, the fruit acts like an incubator. Bacteria divide even in the cool temperatures of packing houses.

It takes a lot of manure to contaminate ground water. The only sources producing large amounts of infected manure are either meat processing plants or industrial animal farms. Regulations regulating meat processing plants are usually not adequately enforced and industrial animal farms should never been allow to exist. There is nothing good about those types of farms except the profits of their owners.

There has been an average of three salmonella outbreaks involving fruit or vegetables each year since 1996. Five of the 33 have involved tomatoes, according to Callaway.

The second outbreak of illnesses related to E.Coli is limited to Ohio and Michigan. The Ohio Department of Health has reported 16 cases of E.coli related illnesses. Counties where outbreak have occurred include Delaware (1), Fairfield (4), Franklin (9), Lucas (1) and Seneca (1). The strain of E.Coli is the same as the one that had infected spinach in 2006, infected Taco Bell beef in 2006, and Topps frozen hamburger patties and General Mills Totino’s or Jeno’s brand Pizzas in 2007, according to the CDC. The MedGuru observed that all reported illnesses have occurred within a 30 mile radius of Columbus.

All of these outbreaks were the result of either industrial meat processing plant contamination or industrial farm operations. All were cause by diseased cow manure either contaminating meat processed at the plants or contaminating ground water by industrial farms.

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