Wednesday 1 June 2011

SMH picks up the killer cucumbers - but fails to mention "organic"

I linked the other day to a BBC story on how people are dying in Europe from food poisoning, and how organic vegetables are suspect. It was pointed out to me later in comments that the BBC had in fact mentioned "organic" in their story - although I am pretty sure that when I first read it, organic didn't appear at all. Either I'm going dotty in my old age, or the BBC updated the story after I linked to it. I originally read about it at Tim Worstall's site, and he was upset because it wasn't being reported that the cause of the outbreak was known - "Imperfectly cooked manure used by the Spanish organic producer".

The Guardian also reported on the outbreak, but it left this rather bland statement until the last line:

Austria's food safety agency ordered a recall of organically grown cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplant supplied by a Spanish producer thought to be the source of the outbreak. It said 33 Austrian stores were affected.

If this had been about GM foods, the headline would have screamed about the cause, and the story would have been one long call to immediately ban such dangerous foods and practices. The usual suspects from Greenpeace etc would have been quoted at length on the dangers of "fooling with nature" and "destorying the planet" and "risking the future of our children".
Anyway, the SMH ran the story today, and this time, I copied the entire text into notepad and searched for "organic". There is no sign of that word anywhere.
To me, that's just plain deceptive.


1735099 said...

Maybe the SMH knew something - "analyses at the laboratory of Lugo (in Galicia), the results of which have now ruled out any link between the consumption of cucumbers from Almeria and the outbreak of E.coli."
See -

Anonymous said...

The Spanish are now saying it wasn't them and getting angry over their losses, the Germans are looking glum and not saying a lot, and no-one's saying where the infection came from.

Regards from Bruce

Skeeter said...

This morning (6/06/2011) the news is that it is definitely caused by German organic bean shoots.
The Spanish growers are mounting lawsuits against the Germans.