Trump Killed Obama-Era Rule That Could Have Prevented The Latest E. Coli Outbreak: Report
Just before Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an emergency warning: Avoid romaine lettuce because the crop is a carrier for E. coli. So far at least 13 people have been hospitalized in this latest outbreak, according to health officials.
The warning had a familiar tone. The same thing happened back in 2011, when more than 200 people in three dozen states contracted the bacteria, resulting in 27 kidney failures and five deaths.
As noted by Reveal News, fruits and vegetables carry E. coli if they’re exposed to contaminated water, and salad greens, typically eaten raw, are especially prone to spreading it. Water can get contaminated by livestock or wildlife waste, and that fecal runoff can easily make its way into farming irrigation. So, the Obama administration drafted a rule that Congress passed as legislation requiring farmers to test irrigation water for pathogens.
The legislation would have gone into effect earlier this year based on criteria drawn up by the Obama-era Food and Drug Administration.
However, six months before people were sickened by the contaminated romaine, President Donald Trump’s FDA – in his quest to eliminate all Obama-era regulations – killed the water-testing rules, Wired reports
Despite this deadly outbreak, Trump’s FDA has shown no sign of reconsidering its plan to keep the rules from ever taking effect. But it gets worse: the agency also is considering allowing some produce growers to test less frequently, putting at risk the safety of their crops.
The FDA’s lack of urgency dumbfounds food safety scientists.
But it’s not surprising. The lack of urgency from the FDA mirrors Trump’s own, who often refuses to acknowledge the findings of his own administration, be it on economics or climate change when they don’t say what he wants them to say.