Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ThinkProgress Health:
Americans might be better off eating horsemeat

ThinkProgress' Aviva Shen ruminates on the European horsemeat scandal and reminds her readers through links, about the sinister consequences of ag gag laws which have been passed in five states, including Iowa. AKSARBENT wrote about Iowa's ag gag law here and here.

     According to Center for Disease Control estimates, 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses every year. In comparison, the entire European Union had roughly 45,000 illnesses and 32 deaths from contaminated food in 2008. That means foodborne illness strikes 15 percent of Americans each year, but only .00009 percent of Europeans.
     American meat also often exceeds levels of contamination considered unacceptable in most of the developed world. Mexico refused a shipment of American beef in 2008 because it exceeded Mexico’s upper regulatory limit for copper contamination. Because the US has no such restrictions, the beef returned to the US to be sold to Americans instead.
      The most common culprits behind foodborne illness are salmonella, norovirus, Campylobacter, toxoplasma gondii, and E. coli 0157, which are carried through feces. These pathogens have also been discovered in some fruit and vegetables that have soaked up infected waste runoff from nearby factory farms. But food safety regulators continue to avert their eyes...

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