Wednesday, October 16


So now our questions are answered. Wampler was indeed the source of the killer listeria (at least, some of the killer listeria, since the official death toll for this strain has now been quietly kicked back to 7 from 20). OK, now we can stop paying attention again.

Oh, but wait a second, turns out there are a couple lingering questions. Such as, why the hell did the USDA lie to us one week ago when the first recall occurred, saying it wasn't Wampler/PilgrimsPride? Did the USDA check for this strain and not find it, and only the CDC could? Then what else is the USDA not finding? Or is this, as with ConAgra, another blatant example of the USDA colluding with a meatpacking company to manipulate the release of life-and-death information in such a way as to benefit the company at the expense of consumers' lives? And if this plant has listeria all over the damn place, what are conditions like at the hundreds of other meatpackers across the country? Also, will this black eye finally force Bush to change his business-uber-alles attitude about meat inspections? Just asking.

I'll leave the last word to the Baltimore Sun: If terrorists were behind [these deaths], there would be screaming headlines and a national mobilization. But it's our own food companies instead; with them, it's just one of the costs of doing business.

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