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While Government Discredits Raw Milk, it Keeps Names of Salmonella Outbreak Restaurants Secret to Protect Corporate Profits

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Healthy Raw Milk page and our Food Safety Resource page.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is getting increasingly bold these days with openly admitting that it works directly for big industry interests rather than public health interests. In a recent report on why the agency did not disclose Taco Bell as being the "Mexican-style" restaurant chain involved in a recent salmonella outbreak, the FDA essentially admitted that it is more concerned with upholding a close-knit relationship with big industry players like Taco Bell than it is with being transparent and telling the truth for the public interest.

Last fall, at least 68 people in ten states were infected with salmonella poisoning from food sold at an undisclosed Mexican-style restaurant chain, according to an FDA announcement. At least 20 of these people became so ill that they had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment, and yet, the entire time, the FDA refused to disclose the name of the chain, which was later uncovered to be Taco Bell.

Any rational person can see that disclosing such information is not only pertinent and beneficial to public health efforts, but also a necessity if the information itself is to have any benefit or reason for being announced in the first place. But the FDA disagrees, having told ABC News in a recent interview that the agency often does not disclose this crucial information for fear that "it could have the effect of discouraging ... cooperation between our agencies and the food industry."

What this really means, of course, is that the FDA places a higher priority on catering to its special interests, which in this case includes fast food restaurant chains like Taco Bell, than it does to protecting public health. Obviously the public has a right to know if a major food producer is even potentially selling food that is tainted with harmful bacteria, despite what the FDA claims about the situation.


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