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Ear to the Ground

Meaty Danger Strikes Whole Foods

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Posted on Aug 12, 2008
Flickr / law_keven

Whole Foods customers expect more for their money, but shoppers in two states got more than they bargained for when they came home with E. coli-tainted beef. The granola-chic grocer has since taken steps to restore faith in the chain and its preposterous prices.


New York Times:

Whole Foods Market said Monday it would tighten oversight of its suppliers to keep substandard products out of stores, after recalling ground beef that apparently sickened customers in two states.

Scrambling to contain the fallout from a recall that threatens the chain’s reputation for quality, Whole Foods acknowledged that it had failed to catch an important change made by one of its suppliers of ground beef, Coleman Natural Beef.

After coming under new ownership, Coleman Natural began using a slaughterhouse in Omaha that had received multiple citations and had fought a long-running battle with the Agriculture Department. The government has said the plant was the source of ground beef that has sickened scores of people around the country.

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By yellowbird2525, August 13, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

other countries such as Australia, England, etc: well aware of what the USA products entail: we think items coming from China are bad? It is USA Corp’s working there folks! coming in complements of YOUR Gov; and to “correct” anything: you have to go to the “lawbreakers” cuz they are the “lawmakers”; we the people are NOT EVEN recognized beyond being completely expendable unless WE are a Corp; THEN you are “recognized” and THEN you have “rights”; this is per an attorney here in Oregon folks: anyway, they are all saying go organic; share/crop/farm/ with OWN SEEDS! Because of the DECEPTION in the SEEDS that will HARM citizens of this country; KNOW that http://www.naturalnews.com; Dr. Mercola, & HSI are GOOD; NOT ALL THAT CLAIM TO BE ARE ! Not all “green” products are “green” because it would be bringing profits to the wealthy DOWN to NOT HARM YOU in every single way that they can. They have carried this over to other countries such as Mexico & Canada; there is civil unrest there as well as S Africa, France, Italy & others; they claim “they have gotten away with it in America for so long” they want world dominion folks: the PEOPLE in the other countries are NOT going for it; KNOW who to buy meat/veggies from; http://www.thedollarstretcher.com tells you HOW to can even meat; which is EXACTLY what the Gov does NOT want you to do & is determined you will NOT do; guess why so many missing Americans folks? Better be sure & get manure for your gardens from reliable farmers & sources as well; cuz they will put SLUDGE in bags label them as “organic” or “fertilizer” to HARM YOU. CHANGE your THINKING if you ever thought for a sec your Gov was there to HELP and not harm you. LOOK at the whisleblower office that was created: SAT on over 100 reports: and BUSH shook his hand and said: good job! Thank you for your SERVICE to your country. Because while saying to the PEOPLE it was to take care of problems: in REALITY it was to SIT on them & NOT take any action; THIS is the AMERICAN WAY (supposedly) and everyone is programmed to think it is “good” when in reality it is NOT. BIG DIFFERENCE between PEOPLE, LAND, & WATER: (our country) and the Gov that is operating here folks; do NOT tell me America: love it or leave it; it is OUR country: it is OUR responsibility & JOB to FIX IT!

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By yellowbird2525, August 13, 2008 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

The Gov is NOT going to “get serious” about anything other than it’s own agenda; and it is NOT for the citizens of this country. Once you can completely understand and comprehend that, you can understand WHERE this country needs to head; the FIELD agents have been down 15 men minimum that they have requested for YEARS to “PROTECT” the citizens of the USA exactly for things like this & the other outbreaks e coli, salmonella, etc; they have been DENIED this for years: because of $; our entire system is set up on DECEPTION, DECEIT, and ONLY for big money; from the pharmas to the chemicals, to the Corp’s and the wealthy; they are totally & completely unconcerned & in fact extremely ACTIVELY working against any “changes”; supposedly for “show” the FDA KNOWING this: allows 1/2 of honey to be cut with corn syrup & called pure; same with baking soda folks; & allows HARMFUL chemicals into every possible conceiveable thing to bring more $ to doctors & pharmacuticals; it is a ROUND ROBIN affair with everything geared AGAINST the people of this country. Clorox buying out Burt Bee’s company the Feds gladly wrote a LAW stating “they no longer have to list ingredients” on ANYTHING. Go to http://www.naturalnews.com & find out about genetic seeds that have caused so much harm to humans that they are labeled in every country except ours. Why do you THINK that S. Korean’s are STILL in the streets & will be until U S BEEF is STOPPED from coming into their country? 80,000 in 1 city alone, & many many more in other cities in that country protesting. Gosh, good to know how POISONED we are in THIS country huh. And the chemical companies promise they WILL NOT lose a dollar; got an email from http://www.pioneerthinking.com telling me of the harmful items in toothpaste; which the Fed Gov is well aware of, & has been for a very long time. And they do NOTHING because our “system” is meant to be run on harming the people. Got the idea along with much other from Hitler: he poisoned the people; we learned & escalated it to the nth degree. Other nations KNOW this: WHEN WILL WE WAKE UP?

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By ECD4ME, August 13, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many of the people I come in contact with are angry about the flood of illegals into American jobs. I frequently hear the statement that these E-Coli outbreaks are due to the illegals (read Mexicans) crapping in the crop fields. This is incorrect. I was making the point that the govt needs to get serious about food safety in harvesting and processing our food. As to needing to reduce the human population, I dont follow that. At least in western countries. After all the huge federal budget for agriculture is devoted mainly to reducing the oversupply problem. Smaller scale producers and middlemen would increase food costs a little, but Americans pay, on average, a smaller portion of their income for food than any other western nation, probably the world.

The increased quality and safety would be on the upside. Perhaps one reason why Europeans are healthier than us is these mega corps are much less prevalent in Europe.

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By samosamo, August 12, 2008 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

This could also be Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and involves the prions same as mad cow or bovine spongiform encephalopathy(BSE). Pretty detailed and here is a link to wikipedia about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creutzfeldt-Jakob_disease

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By G.Anderson, August 12, 2008 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Unfortuantely Mad cow disease in the United States is Well Documented. The first case occured in Moses Lake Washington, in December of 2003. This cow was traced to a “downer Dairy Cow” that was mixed with 10,000 pounds of ground beef, and could not be recalled before it was consumed.

The last two cases of Mad cow disease were identified in cattle in Alabama and Texas, both were of the ‘atypical’ BSE strain, and immediately after that, the USDA shut down the testing from 470,000 to 40,000 in the U.S. in 2007, out of about 35 million cattle slaughtered. also, science is showing that some of these atypical cases are more virulent to humans than the typical UK BSE strain was.

Korea is not alone in wanting to stop the importation of at risk beef, the USDA also bans the import of beef into the United States from countries where Mad Cow disease is found.

E-Coli is also a problem, that most people are not aware of.

E-Coli was the first organism used in recombinant DNA research. When this first began the public was given many assurances that this was absoulutely safe. Genetically altered E-Coli were guarded by the highest of bio hazzard precautions, but this was before Science discoverd the ability of unrelated strains of bacteria to exchange genetic material, sharing genetic advantages with one and other.

It is quite likely that some of the E-Coli that is causing problems, is not doing because of human contamination, but because it is genetically altered.

It is also quite likely that many cases of Dementia are actually NvCJD, because the symptoms of the two diseases are hard to distinguish, because of the long time for NvCJD vitims to exhibit pathology, and the lack of post mortum testing of Dementia Victims for NvCJD. There could be many thousands of deaths from NvCJD, we just don’t know.

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By samosamo, August 12, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Probably a very ‘healthy’ dose of deregulation here to maximize profits and minimize costs as hippy pam and dr. knowitall ‘hint’.
I would definitely say going back to the smaller farms and businesses would work real well but that would require that the human population be reduced by 3/4 at least. That would most likely be very ugly but since we will not use the human intelligence for something so blasphemous, I guess nature will eventually handle it.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, August 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

ECD4ME, I didn’t gather from Travis’ comment that he hates Mexicans.

He’s right about “people trying to survive,”  “crappy working conditions,” and “big ass slaughter houses.” Keep it up Travis, you’re on the right track.  You ought to plan on a career in activism.  This world needs good activists and it looks like you could be one of them.

14 years old and already so smart!

Look at it this way, EDC4ME, he’s interested enough to view this site and interested enough to read and comment and that, in my book, say a lot of good about Travis.  Many kids his age won’t tear themselves away from TV long enough to even poop. Hey Travis, how in the world did you happen onto Truthdig???

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By ECD4ME, August 12, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fact is, other wealthy countries have higher standards for meat than we do. Japan, in particular, is fussy about the beef it imports. the Japanese pay a premium price for imported beef. American ranchers have been trying to get into this market for years but arent able to because they are not allowed to meet the higher standards Japanese shoppers demand. Seems crazy that the dept of agriculture wouldn’t allow them to seek this market. Just proves the control and manipulation of the food business by these giant corporations. Oh well, the Canadians are doing well selling into these premium markets, we should congratulate them on their govt “by the people” instead of corporate fascism like we have.

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By Bill Witherup, August 12, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whole Foods is a non-union grocer, why I shop there seldom. Is Coleman Natural a non-union abbatoir?  Betcha!

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By ECD4ME, August 12, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Travis, your comment is one that is repeated a lot by people who dont know much about E-coli and hate Mexicans. The fact is that E-coli in the human gut makes people really sick, whereas in the cow it doesn’t cause a problem. E-coli in meat is caused by processors not practicing sanitary procedures that were standard years ago. The cows gut contains feces and bacteria including E-coli. The carcasses are not cleaned properly. the emphasis is on speed, production, profits. processors substitite technology and fancy statistics for old fashioned attention to cleanliness.
E-coli in produce is a different problem. Produce is washed in the field as it is harvested. Problem is they’re using pond water that is contaminated with cow feces from the cows feeding right next to the lettuce field. Best thing is to plant a garden and you can at least feel confident in your produce.

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By Travis, August 12, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe that’s because no one has ever contracted MAD COW DISEASE in these United States EVER.  Look it up I would tell the guy he’s pretty stupid too. My point is that the ecoli is comin from one place.  Immigrant people trying to survive out working our fields of greens and our big ass slaughter houses.  And they poop. It’s simple crappy working conditions if these people were legal these situations would be far better regulated….But that’s just my opinion.

Travis- 14 years old

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By ecd4me, August 12, 2008 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We are fortunate to have a neighborhood grocer who cuts his own beef and is quite particular about its quality. It does cost more than at chain stores, but we’ve never been unhappy with a purchase. We do shop at Walmart, but we never buy meat there. It probably does mean a higher price to get a better product, but the pressure on these chains to meet corporate profit goals has to hurt the consumer. these recurring e-coli problems should prompt the feds to take an honest look at regulations. Remember the Reagan era, he bragged about how many regulations they tore up. that seems to be a Republican mantra now. This stuff was much less prevalent years ago before the govt sold out to corporate interests.

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By G.Anderson, August 12, 2008 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Actually there is a problem with US meat anyway, as witnessed by the continuing mass protests in South Korea to prevent the importation of meat from the USA.

Recently a US meat producer who wanted to test every single one of his cows for Mad Cow disease was sued by the USDA to stop him, because of the concerns of the other meat packers, who get by with little oversight. 

It is safe to say that very few American consumers know what’s in their food. They don’t know how the Bush administrations belief that market forces will make food producers ensure the products they produce are safe, is a total delusion.

This while at the same time the Bush adminstration, has lowered the Standards for what is defined as organic, to allow factory farms to peddle food, that was not considered organic under the old standards.

The Bush adminstration also cut the number of inspectors for food, and in some places, i.e. overseas, there are no inspectors at all. Is it any wonder that, in the last several years there have been, many many incidents of food borne illness, and deaths of consumers? 

If anything, Whole foods is a victim, of a national system in which profit is more important than the health of the consumer.

It’s a system that spends $1.8 billion dollars a year advertizing junk food to children, and blithely ignores the consequences.

Even without, these periodic food borne illness out -breaks, our food is killing us, and our children. And our government, cares much more about the profits of big argi business than the health and well being of All American’s thanks to the Republican party and George W. Bush.

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By hippy pam, August 12, 2008 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

This Is The “free enterprise system” at it’s FINEST[i.e. get the MOST MONEY from the ONES THAT WILL PAY THE PRICE while a company is putting in THE LEAST EFFORT they can possibly get by with-to further MAXIMIZE PROFITS]....and WE ALLOW THEM TO GET BY WITH IT…....I will repeat that ...W-E…A-L-L-O-W…T-H-E-M…T-O…G-E-T…B-Y…W-I-T-H…I-T…...

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, August 12, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

I have to wonder how many hits to your reputation or expensive lawsuits you’ll endure before you’ll take really drastic measures to, once and for all, ensure your meat is safe to eat, like marinading it in Clorox before you put it out in the display case.

You have to assume they’re looking for the magic bullet and the result will be exchanging one hazard for another, but the replacement hazard can’t be detected, even in an autopsy.

Ah!, profit motive!!!

BTW, what exactly does the “Whole” in Whole Foods mean?  Apparently it means you get the “whole” ball of wax, including E. Coli.

I think I want to go back to the days of the hand-rung cash register and people who could count change.  You can have progress, if you want it.

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