Boycott Watch  
June 24, 2008
CDC's Tomato Scare Losses Now Estimated At $250M
Summary: Losses mount, CDC may come under investigation
    Boycott Watch was first to question the CDC over the tomato salmonella scare and we did it over one simple question: What is the evidence in the first place? Our questions have yet to be answered. Hopefully some answers will come out in possible Congressional hearings in the matter.

    As we previously reported, the scare started with the wife of a deceased cancer patient who was found to have some salmonella, yet that was never determined to be the absolute cause of death. Boycott Watch speculates the entire scare may be the result of someone searching for a reason for a lawsuit in her husband's death. Only time will tell if a wrongful death lawsuit will be filed, but if that is the case, the entire jury pool has already been tainted.

    Regardless, there are two more mitigating factors we also reported. First, as more people look for this particular strain of salmonella, the more it will be found. Second, the more points of testing you add, the greater the likelihood of a positive result. The fact is that this strain is not normally searched for, and the more you search for something you have always ignored, the more you are likely to find it.

    The fact is that people come in contact with salmonella and other bacteria daily. Most of these infections are destroyed by the body's immune system and those people who get sick usually get a belly ache or diarrhea.

    With this scare, 851 out of the more than 300 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness, or in other words one out of every 352 thousand people - a statistical anomaly, not an epidemic. As for the cancer patient, his defenses may have been weakened by the cancer and treatment, so blaming his death strictly on salmonella is a stretch.

    Most importantly, tomatoes were targeted because the cancer patient at a tomato, but surely ate other foods as well. Not one bit of other evidence of tomatoes as the source has been offered by the CDC, and as a result the CDC has resorted to a world-wide search of other foods that has still yielded nothing. The greatest medical research facility in the world is working on the basis of a non-scientific hunch, costing U.S. taxpayers untold millions of dollars while the estimated loss to farmers and distributors has grown from $100M to more than $250M this week.

    On a per person basis, that works out to about $300,000 in business losses per infected person when all these people really needed are $5 bottles of Pepto-Bismol.

    Other coverage can be seen here.

Our previous reports on this topic:

July 1, 2008: Boycott Watch Right Again - CDC Tomato Scare is a Farce

June 3, 2008: False Tomato Salmonella Scare Kills the Tomato Industry

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