According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), food borne illness is responsible for a large increase in infectious disease in the US. In 1999 (the last time the CDC calculated the incidence of food borne illness), they determined that 1 in 4 Americans was at risk of contracting a food borne illness, 1 in 840 at risk of landing in the hospital for it and 1 in 55,000 at risk of it dying from it. They also ascertained that 97% of food borne illness could be traced to farm animals either directly or through indirect contamination of other produce. As an example, theUS Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ascertained that 90% of Thanksgiving turkeys are contaminated with campylobacter, the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning. Moreover 75% of turkeys are contaminated with two or more food borne illnesses, with salmonella coming in a close second to campylobacter.
More recently, outbreaks of pathogenic strains of E. coli (which have caused kidney failure and death in several children) have become an ever bigger public concern. Some of these outbreaks have resulted from contamination of fruits and vegetables with E. coli from animal feces, an embarrassing complication of the failure of federal inspection standards to keep up with major health hazards associated with our modern system of industrialized agriculture.
Unfortunately the food borne illness posing the most serious danger to human health receives virtually no attention in the US despite being front page news in Europe and other parts of the world. In fact there seems to be a definite conspiracy of silence around health problems related to Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis (MAP) an organism which, according to European studies, survives pasteurization and is present in retail milk supplies.
A Conspiracy of Silence