Thursday, October 2, 2014

Salmonella targeted by activists

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has renewed its push to have the United States Department of Agriculture declare four antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella as adulterants under federal law.

That would wipe some chicken and other meats off the market. For example, a recent study in South Korea found that close to a quarter of the chicken in supermarkets carried salmonella and up to 80 per cent of those salmonella strains were resistant to antibiotics.

In July, the department rejected a similar petition the Centre for Science in the Public Interest filed in 2011.

The new petition asks the agency to declare the strains as adulterants in all meat and poultry products.

The centre says two multi-state outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg linked to chicken from Foster Farms, which sickened some 750 people and caused 233 hospitalizations, should be a wake-up call.

The centre notes that the department declared E. coli 0157:H7 an adulterant in 1994. then in 2011 added six shiga-toxin-producing strains of E. coli.

The chances of stern action in Canada are even slimmer than in the United States because the marketing boards have politicians quaking in their boots.