The U.S. Food Supply Is Unsafe with Third World Suppliers

By Dave Gibson
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 26, Number 2 (Winter 2016)
Issue theme: "Immigration Briefing Book"
http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_26_2/tsc_26_2_gubson.shtml




On July 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a ban on cilantro grown in Mexico after officials found human feces and toilet paper in fields where the cilantro is grown.

The cilantro caused several outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the U.S., according to the FDA.

A portion of the FDA order follows:

The Centers for Disease Control and Preven-tion (CDC) and state public health officials have identified annually recurring outbreaks (in 2012, 2013, and 2014) of cyclosporiasis in the United States which have been associated with fresh cilantro from the state of Puebla, Mexico. There is currently (in July 2015) another ongoing outbreak of cyclosporiasis in the United States in which the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection have identified cilantro from the Mexican state of Puebla as a suspect vehicle with respect to separate illness clusters.1

Then, in September, San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce (A&W) issued a recall of their “Limited Edition” cucumbers, which were apparently tainted with the bacteria, Salmonella.

The cucumbers were grown and packed by Rancho Don Juanito in Baja California, Mexico, and distributed throughout the United States between August 1 and September 3, 2015, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).2

As of September 4, 2015, CDPH officials said that they were aware of 285 people in 27 states who had become ill from eating the recalled cucumbers, and one San Diego woman died as a result of the infection.

A&W said the cucumbers were sent to “retail, food service companies, wholesalers, and brokers,” in the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

Of course, wholesale distributors then sent them on to other states, and it was either never known or never disclosed, as to where all of the cucumbers ended up, nor even the names of the grocery stores selling them.

Unfortunately, the cucumbers are not labeled with the brand name Andrews and Williamson, and CDPH officials recommend “that consumers check with their grocer to determine if the cucumbers they purchased are impacted by this warning.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers the following information on Salmonella infection:

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites. In these cases, Salmonella can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.3

Salmonella contamination occurs when the fecal matter (or feces-contaminated water) of humans or animals comes in contact with food.

Every year, thousands of Americans are made ill by various parasites found on fresh vegetables either grown in Mexico, or in this country, picked by so-called “migrant farm workers” from South of the Border.

• In 2006, E. coli bacteria were found in food served by Taco Bell restaurants and sickened people in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The bacteria were traced to tainted green onions which were imported from Mexico.

In October 2015, people began falling ill from E. coli, which was traced back to several Chipotle restaurants. In fact, by mid-November, the outbreak had become so severe that the chain was forced to temporarily shut down 43 restaurants in Washington state and Oregon.

However, the spread of the dangerous bacteria did not stop there, when another outbreak was traced back to Chipotle restaurants in Kansas and Oklahoma.

On December 31, 2015, UPI reported: “As of December, 2015, the CDC has reported 53 cases of E. coli and at least 20 hospitalizations in nine states linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants.”4

Of course, this is only the latest outbreak traced back to the restaurant chain...

• In August 2015, Minnesota health officials traced a Salmonella outbreak to nearly two dozen Chipotle locations within the state. At least 64 customers were confirmed to have contracted the illness after eating tomatoes grown in Mexico.

• In April 2008, more than 400 people were sickened by the norovirus, which was traced back to a Chipotle location in Kent, Ohio. Many of those who contracted the virus were Kent State University students.

• In March 2008, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency tracked a hepatitis outbreak to a Chipotle located in La Mesa, California. As a result, more than 20 customers tested positive for the virus.

You see, in Chipotle’s case, they not only import tainted vegetables from Mexico to stuff into your burrito, they also import illegal aliens to prepare them for you...

In December 2010, Chipotle fired about 50 workers from several locations in Minnesota, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement apparently began an investigation into the immigration status of the restaurant chain’s workforce. In a press release, Chipotle said: “We are fully cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Minnesota in connection with a document request they have made.”

Workers were fired at locations in downtown Minneapolis (Skyway and Seven Corners), Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, Richfield, Stillwater, and Hudson, Wisconsin.

Then in 2011, ICE expanded their investigation to about 85 Chipotle locations from Virginia to California, which turned up many more illegal aliens.

The Chipotle chain currently has 1,900 locations, with a net income in 2013 of $327.4 million, according to a Bloomberg report.5

It is no great mystery as to how this outbreak continues to occur. You see, Mexican farm workers not only work for slave wages... They relieve themselves right in the same fields where your salad is grown!

E. coli is found in the fecal matter of both humans and livestock. With large commercial growers devoted only to producing vegetables, it does not require a degree in microbiology to figure out the source of the bacteria. Rather than running off to find a bathroom (which is almost never provided), which would cost valuable picking time, they simply defecate right next to the lettuce which ends up in your local grocery store or restaurant.

Bloomberg.com reported:

Since 2013, the FDA and Mexican authorities have inspected 11 farms and packing houses that produce cilantro from Puebla. At eight, health officials found bathrooms without soap, toilet paper or running water, in addition to the human feces and toilet paper in growing fields. Some had a complete lack of toilet facilities.6

The bacteria ( Eschericha coli) can cause abdominal cramps, fever, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, blindness, paralysis, and death.

• There was an E. coli outbreak in September 2006 which affected fresh spinach picked in California. During that episode, 200 people were sickened and three people died.

• In 2003, green onions grown in Mexico were found to be the culprit for an outbreak of hepatitis A. More than 600 people became ill and four people died after consuming the tainted onions in a Pennsylvania Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

As the influx of illegal aliens from Mexico continues into this country and restaurants continue importing produce from Mexico, more Americans will become ill and many will die. The habits of these workers are not only disgusting but dangerous as well.

We continue to hear the claims that Mexicans “do the jobs that Americans won’t do.” Apparently, they also do other things “that Americans won’t do.”

Endnotes

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_1148.html

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR15-067.aspx

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/index.html

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/12/31/10-notable-E-coli-outbreaks-at-US-fast-food-restaurants/5781451489618/

http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-chipotle-food-safety-crisis

http://www.bloomberg.com/news articles/2015-07-27/mexico-cilantro-fields-strewn-with-feces-prompt-partial-u-s-ban

About the author

Dave Gibson, a former legislative aide to a Virginia state senator, has been working as a freelance writer for many years. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Times.

Copyright 2007-2013 The Social Contract Press, 445 E Mitchell Street, Petoskey, MI 49770; ISSN 1055-145X
(Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract)