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Killer Tomatoes? What is the truth?

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posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 11:52 AM
Is the salmonella outbreak a contamination of the outside of the tomatoes or is it an interior contamination of the "vascular" structure of the plant?? And how is a "vascular" contamination caused??

The following excerpts from one article suggests that organic growing is the
culprit.....( I've added the bolding)
Is that possible?? ( Manure is a commonly used fertilizer, but it has been used for years and could it just now be causing problems like this.... ??)

In fairness to processors, there is ample evidence to suggest that no
amount of washing will rid all pathogens from produce. The reason is that
the contamination may occur not on the plant, but in it. Exposure to
Salmonella, E. coli or other microorganisms at key stages of the growing
process may allow them to be introduced into the plant's vascular system.

The author goes on to reveal what is possibly his real reason for laying the blame on the organic grower....I'm not familiar with this fellow, but it seems to me that he is a bit of a cheerleader for GM technology....

There is technology available today that could both inhibit
microorganisms' ability to grow within plant cells and block the synthesis
of the bacterial toxins.

But don't expect your favourite organic producer to embrace this
triple-threat technology, even if it would keep his customers from getting
sick. Why? The technology in question is gene-splicing (also known as
"genetic modification", or GM) - an advance the organic lobby has repeatedly
vilified and rejected.

In the wake of the recent tomato contamination, will the organic lobby
rethink its opposition to biotechnology?


I'm not so ready to buy the idea that the blame belongs on the organic
grower.....organically grown is generally more expensive and generously
labeled as such! So far none of the news reports that I've seen even
mention that any of the tomatoes in question are organically grown!

Then from a different source, a different explanation is offered for the internal contamination of the tomatoes....not quite the 'reason' given by the pro-gene splicing, anti-organic article cited above....???....In fact it's an entirely different reason!! ( again, I've bolded the text of note.)

However, some produce, including tomatoes and lettuce, can draw
bacteria into interior tissue if they are cut or damaged.
If that
happens, washing won't remove the contamination.


Then there's an even more horrific tidbit, cited from a CDC paper published after a previous tomato borne salmonella outbreak in 2004...

More research is needed to determine if Salmonella can travel from the
roots to the fruit or if contaminated seeds can affect subsequent
generations of tomato plants


And there is other confusing information on whether the tomatoes would be safe if they are processed......

Salmonella and other pathogens are killed at 145 degrees, said Britt
Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., at the National Center for Food Safety & Technology
of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Since tomato products are heat
processed at temperatures well above that, consumers can feel assured about continuing to use them.

and echoed here

But the FDA has a different line.....?

The FDA says that raw red plum, red Roma and round red tomatoes
shouldn't be handled or eaten at all. Neither washing nor cooking the
produce will eliminate the bacteria,
the agency said on its Web site.


So which is it....heat kills the salmonella, (or at least has in the processed tomatoes that already stock the grocers' shelves) or cooking will not eliminate the bacteria, at least not in this latest outbreak ??

Then there is info with no substantial explanation of details like:

The FDA recommended that consumers limit their tomato consumption to
those that aren't the likely source of illnesses, such as cherry tomatoes,
grape tomatoes and those sold with the vine still attached.


Is this due to 'the drawing in of the pathogens thru openings caused by
pulling out of the stems?? But what if the tomatoes have damaged skins even though their stems are intact??

This whole episode is a bit fishy.....who is really to blame, or who do
'they' want us to think is the culprit?? Has this outbreak been manufactured or groomed to discourage organic growers or home gardeners and to push for genetically modifying food 'to make it safe'....?

I'll readily admit that I'm prone to suspect a conspiracy of some sort....after all I am member of a conspiracy site.....but something is not adding up. Any one else smell a rat?

[edit on 12-6-2008 by frayed1]

posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 01:36 PM
I think the vine-on thing tends to deal with the common practices of certain growers. I know that the ones we get where I live come from an in-state hydroponic farm (no danger of human feces contamination).

FDA knows the practices of growers so that is how they ruled out vine-on tomatoes.

I also think the vine-on thing is marketing to show that they were "vine-ripened" whether or not the ripening took place while still on the plant. Sneaky Petes 101.

Also, I think the at-issue tomatoes will be found to come from a certain country south of our border. (we get 80+% of imported tomatoes from there)

posted on Jun, 12 2008 @ 01:59 PM
I found an interesting report from the FDA/CFSAN from 1999.


In March of 1999, FDA initiated a 1000 sample survey focused on high volume imported fresh produce. Broccoli, cantaloupe, celery, cilantro, culantro, loose-leaf lettuce, parsley, scallions (green onions), strawberries and tomatoes were collected and analyzed for Salmonella, and E. coli O157:H7. All commodities except for cilantro, culantro, lettuce and strawberries were analyzed for Shigella. Twenty-one countries were represented in the collection and sampling of fresh produce.

Based on farm investigations and other information, a failure to follow GAPs and GMPs was often associated with the findings of pathogen contamination. In particular, inadequate manure management and lack of appropriate field and transport sanitation practices was most frequently associated with overall contamination. Specific problems included fields that were open to domestic animals and were fertilized by untreated animal manure, equipment and tools not being sanitized, unsanitary harvesting and/or packing equipment (e.g., woven plastic bags to collect culantro after harvest) and packing practices, and unsanitary methods of transportation (e.g., trucks washed with non-chlorinated water and/or cleaned infrequently). And in at least one instance, a firm placed on DWPE could not provide documentation to certify the cleanliness of the water used for irrigation and fertilization.

Of the 21 firms placed on DWPE, 14 firms were based in Mexico, one (1) firm in Canada, three (3) firms in Costa Rica, one (1) firm in Guatemala, one (1) firm in Chile and one (1) firm in Trinidad & Tobago. Firms from Mexico made a substantial effort to be removed from DWPE. At the completion of this assignment, nine (9) of the 14 firms based in Mexico, or 64.3%, successfully identified and corrected all identifiable sources of potential contamination and were subsequently removed from DWPE.

A link explaining bacteria that cause foodborne illness

posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 07:53 AM
Primus, your FDA link there, listing all the different 'bugs' that can contaminate our food, almost makes one afraid to eat at all!

Interesting that they tend to go somewhat overboard there, yet are so slow to react to the actual contamination episodes!

(For instance they list undercooked eggs as a source of salmonella, where it should actually say they are a possible source......the egg will grow salmonella when the shell is cracked and the bacteria has gotten in through the breach......)

I've been watching the FDA rep on CSPAN this morning......the guest was a doctor, and he said tomatoes are picked and often put into a cold water bath to cool and wash them.......if the water used does not contain chlorine, or enough chlorine, the salmonella or E. coli can be present in that water, and can be drawn into the tomato .......apparently the tomatoes will absorb the cooler water. ( He did not mention any 'stem on, stem off' differences...)

He was rather insistent that contamination did not necessarily originate outside the US......( Though all of our tap water in the US is chlorinated, is it not at a high enough level?? Also I imagine some growers use their own water supply....pumped from a well or spring that would not be chlorinated.)

He also claimed that the FDA had no ability to label food with the country of origin stickers, that by law the FDA could not do that, the Department of Agriculture has that responsibility......( so why not change the law, or have the Ag people in the hearings and tell them to do it??)

He also cited 'confidentiality' regulations that prevent the FDA from revealing the records of distribution to the public!!

So they can't label, they can't even tell the public where the stuff has been distributed from or to.......why don't they just go home, since it sounds like all they can do is cash their paychecks!

It sounds like you have the right idea, primus........only buy from a source you know is safe..........or grow your own.

[edit on 13-6-2008 by frayed1]

[edit on 13-6-2008 by frayed1]

posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by frayed1

There is a conspiracy to ultimately control all fruits and veggies grown in the US. What better way than to say they are injurious to our health -- thereby ensuring that their own agena will be carried out. Millions of mindless Americans believe any and everything they see in print or in the media, which is why we have a madman running the country, with his cabinet of "gestapo" puppets. It's all about the money!


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