Boycott Watch  
July 1, 2008
Boycott Watch Right Again - CDC Tomato Scare is a Farce
Summary: CDC Should be spelled CYA
    Boycott Watch was the only site to report that the CDC created a salmonella scare without any evidence of the source, and that the number of people infected was a statistical anomaly. In 11 weeks, 851 out of the more than 300 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness based on a specific strain, meaning one out of every 352 thousand people got diarrhea. This is a statistical anomaly, not an epidemic.

    At the onset of the scare, news reports indicated that the one person is claimed to have died from tomatoes tainted with salmonella, but that claim was made by the wife of a deceased cancer patient, not by medical professionals. The CDC scare has resulted in consumers creating a de facto boycott based on inconclusive information. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal today reported that losses for the food industry have topped $100 Million. The losses are mainly confined to growers and distributors who have watched their crops rot in the field and warehouses while the CDC has gone on an international snipe-hunt to find the source of salmonella to justify their closing of a major U.S. industry.

    From a consumer standpoint, people are not going to supermarkets with lists printed off their computer to figure out which tomatoes they should buy or not buy. Despite the fact that supermarkets are keeping suspicious tomato varieties off shelves, consumer demand is down. As a result, some supermarkets have reduced the space they allocated for tomatoes to concentrate consumers at the tomatoes being offered in order to create the appearance of demand.

    In fact, the CDC scare now has some people thinking they can not eat tomatoes they grew in their own home garden.

    Fresh tomatoes, as the alleged source of salmonella source, have not been traced to any one supermarket, grower or even geographic area, thus raising questions about CDC decision making. Boycott Watch believes the CDC jumped to conclusions strictly to avoid criticism in case there was a real problem, but the CDC ended up with nothing. Now that the CDC realizes the emperor has no clothes, but instead of backtracking, they are telling people the so-called outbreak may be from other foods and consumers should beware, but won't say which foods. The CDC is crying wolf.

    Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto Tuesday, were he was interviewed by guest host Alexis Glick. In the interview, Dr. Tauxe said the CDC is broadening their investigation to foods "commonly eaten with tomatoes", but refused to specify which foods they are looking into. The secrecy is undoubtedly because the CDC has been criticized heavily by the tomato industry for effectively putting them out of business with no evidence.

    The CDC normally does great work. Still, they still have no clue as to the source of the strain of salmonella after eleven weeks. Now they are looking for another possible source, but they may have wasted lots of time looking at tomatoes when vegetables are not a common source of salmonella contagions.

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