Los Angeles

Fallout from the Tomato Fiasco

Thanks to Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle for examining the effect of the salmonella outbreak–and its unclear origins–on California’s tomato growers:

By the time the Food and Drug Administration cleared tomatoes Thursday in its investigation of a salmonella outbreak, California’s tomato sales had plummeted more than 40 percent.

“It’s a government-made disaster,” said Melanie Horwath, office manager and a member of the fourth generation of the family that runs Gonzales Packing Company in the Salinas Valley that saw estimated crop losses of $2 million. “The government has a responsibility to only provide facts, not idle speculation. They’re going to put us all out of business.”

Complaints about the FDA’s failure to properly study and respond to the salmonella outbreaks are increasing: Read the complete article on the SFGate site. (A reminder, too, of Marion Nestle’s excellent summary of criticism and concern about the handling of the salmonella investigations.)