Washington, D.C. --September 30, 2011-The deadliest food borne illness outbreak in a century may be linked to confinement animal operations. Over sixteen people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes.
Although Jensen Farms, producer of the cantaloupes, does not use pesticides, it is located in Prowers County, Colorado, which has a very high concentration of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO).
According to the Food and Water Watch website ( http://www.factoryfarmmap.org/#animal:all;location:CO;year:2007 ) Prowers County has an "extreme" concentration of CAFOs, with over forty-four thousand cattle and almost one hundred forty thousand hogs in confinement. Animals outnumber people in Prowers County by twelve to one.
"Filthy runoff from confinement operations can contaminate water used in irrigating crops," says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. "We hope that public health officials will include irrigation water and waste water lagoons in their investigations of this tragic outbreak."