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Dobbs Still Blames Bush for Salmonella

     The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now says jalapeno peppers, not tomatoes, are behind the recent outbreak of salmonella poisoning. But on CNN, Lou Dobbs is still blaming President Bush.

     “This is really an outrageous situation. One in which the FDA, this Congress, and this president bear immense responsibility,” said Dobbs on the July 21 edition of his show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

 

     After finding a jalapeno pepper with the Salmonella Saintpaul strain in McAllen, Texas, the FDA is investigating a Mexican pepper farm as the possible source, according to CNN reporter Louise Schiavone.

 

     Blaming the president and the FDA was nothing new for Dobbs. He issued similar accusations June 16 and June 18 and even called for Bush's impeachment on June 19. But this time Dobbs suggested that “the FDA, this president, and this Congress could do the American people a great service having done them a great injury.”

 

     Dobbs’ solution was more government involvement and regulation. “[B]egin trace backs, put in country of origin labeling and start it right now and stop this nonsense about cross-border commerce having to be protected at all costs,” said Dobbs.

 

     Schiavone used spun statistics to support the “Lou Dobbs Tonight” campaign against imported foods. She said, “1251 cases of Salmonella Saintpaul have been recorded in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. At least 229 people were hospitalized and there were 2 associated deaths.”

 

     Schiavone and Dobbs failed to mention was that the deaths were not caused by the salmonella. According to the FDA, no one has died due to the outbreak.

 

     “No deaths have been officially attributed to this outbreak however we are aware of a man in his 60s who died in Texas from cancer and had an infection with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul at the time of his death,” said doctor Ian Williams of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

     Schiavone blamed the FDA – not the journalists who latched onto the story – for damage inflicted on the tomato industry.

      “As the outbreak and the investigation both continue, tomato farmers are trying to pick up the pieces,” she said, ignoring the role CNN played in perpetuating hysteria that damaged the industry. Some estimates put tomato growers’ losses at $100 million.

 

     Dr. David Acheson of the FDA told “Lou Dobbs Tonight” the agency is focusing “on the entire production chain from farms to distribution centers to the packing houses. And we’ve been testing water, soil, work surfaces, packing boxes, and many other areas to determine not only where the contamination originated but how it might have spread throughout the food supply to American consumers.”

 

     According to CBS’s Kelly Cobiella on the July 18 “The Early Show,” “No one has come forward with Salmonella Saintpaul since July 4.”