The Insane Recall of Organic Spinach

Hard to believe all the overreactions surrounding the insane recall of organic spinach in the press late last week, needlessly panicking Americans and forcing grocers to get rid of perfectly healthy food at the risk of other pressing health concerns like obesity.

Federal officials certainly have some handle on the problem. Almost three-quarters of the fresh spinach grown in America comes from California. Moreover, FDA and state officials have been monitoring lettuce farms in the Salinas area that have been the source of eight E. coli outbreaks since 1995.

And Natural Selection Foods, the California company responsible for the problem, claims its organic produce has been cleared of contamination, although the FDA disagrees.

Here's the most curious part of the problem that makes no sense: The most virulent strain of E. coli (O157:H7) originates from animals through bacteria from their tainted feces, so it's hard for me to imagine why state and federal officials can't find it.

Heaven forbid, let's hope this ruckus isn't merely a ruse to scare people away from anything remotely appearing to be organic and healthier and toward conventionally grown foods of dubious origin.

USA Today September 18, 2006

Houston Chronicle September 18, 2006

New York Times September 18, 2006 Registration Required

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