Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tomatoes acquitted.

The Federal Drug Adminstration (FDA) finally admitted that the salmonella outbreak wasn't caused by tomatoes. I'm sure this brings great joy to the nation's tomato farmers. They were minded their own business, growing America's favorite veggie, when a few federal paper pushers caused them $100 million in losses. That's enough to bankrupt a lot of farmers.
FDA hasn't said just why they pointed the finger at tomatoes, but I can guess. They asked victims what they ate before contracting salmonella, and surprise, every one mentioned tomatoes. They are America's favorite veggie after all. I'm sure every one also reported drinking water too.
We ought to demand actual detection of a pathogen in real food before the government is allowed to declare crops to be infected and ruin farmers. Real food means food actually offered for sale, not weeds or plant cuttings or farm wastes. Actual detection means a real laboratory , running a standard test from a standard handbook, files a written lab report, on company letterhead, signed and dated by the person conducting the test.
As it is, the tomato farmers ought to sue the FDA. Go for damages, punitive damages, gross negligence.

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