FOOD CONTAMINATION PARALLELS USE OF SLUDGE/BIOSOLIDS
UPDATE August 29, 2009
1986 there were one to two million cases of food poisoning (Gerba) (EPA Risk Assessment for landfilling sludge)
1990 there were about 6 million case of food poisoning
1994 there were about 33 million cases of food poisoning 9,000 deaths EPA-USDA- CDC-Report to President -From
Farm to Table
1996 there were about 80 million case of food poisoning (Ralph J. Touche-Chief Sanitarian -Public Health Service
1997 there we about 81 million case of food poisoning (GAO-report)
1998 CDC estimates 360 million cases of acute diarrhea, Most from unknown source of exposure.(1987 estimate) 9,100
1999 (Mead,et.al) (CDC) estimates there are only about 76 million foodborne cases annually, 325,000 Hospitalized and
CDC still uses these figures = 6.3 million illnesses per month, 27,000 people hospitalized each month, 416 dead each
CDC: "In most of these cases, the cause (food, water, other) is unknown."
[other -- reclaimed water and biological solids in sludge (biosolids)
CDC has not revised the estimates since 1999. CDC now claims "Some outbreaks aren't detected,
investigated, or reported because many states lack the resources." However, those same states are
issuing permits to spread foodborne pathogens on food crops, parks, school grounds and home lawns.
EPA claims the pathogens in sludge it allows on food crops only cause gastroenteritis. That is not the case and probably
the reason no one in government really wants to know the extent of illness and death caused by food poisoning.
GAO -- Information of Foodborne Illnesses (1996)
Can only identify cases for which tests were performed; limited to four pathogens; do not
identify source of infection Between 6.5 million and 81 million cases of foodborne illness and as many as 9,100 related
deaths occur each year, according to the estimates provided by several studies conducted over the past 10 years.
The implied value of preventing the 1,646 to 3,144 estimated deaths from foodborne exposure in 1992 was $6.6-22.0
Campylobacter CAUSES Arthritis, blood poisoning, Guillain-Barre syndrome (paralysis), chronic diarrhea,
meningitis, and inflammation of the heart, gallbladder, colon, and pancreas -- FOUND in poultry,
raw milk, and meat.
E. coli O157:H7 CAUSES HUS,(a) which is associated with kidney failure and neurologic disorders; and
other illnesses -- FOUND in Meat, especially ground beef; raw milk; and produce
Salmonella CAUSES Reactive arthritis, blood poisoning, Reiter’s disease (inflammation of joints,
eye membranes, and urinary tract) and inflammation of the pancreas, spleen, colon, gallbladder, thyroid, and heart --
FOUND in Poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products, seafood, fruits, and vegetables
Shigella CAUSES Reiter’s disease, HUS, pneumonia, blood poisoning, neurologic disorders, and
inflammation of the spleen -- FOUND in Salads, milk and dairy products, and produce
Yersinia enterocolitica CAUSES Reiter’s disease, pneumonia, and inflammation of vertebrae, lymphatic
glands, liver, and spleen -- FOUND in Pork and dairy products
March 1996 FOOD SAFETY
New Initiatives Would Fundamentally Alter the Existing System
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Department of Health and Human Services, estimates
that over 6 million illnesses and about 9,000 deaths resulting from foodborne pathogens occur each year.4
These illnesses and deaths are very costly. For example, FSIS estimated that nearly 5 million illnesses and about 4,000
deaths were caused by meat and poultry products in 1993, at a cost estimated to be from $4.5 billion to $7.5 billion.5
Report to Congressional Committees
FOOD SAFETY -- Information on Foodborne Illnesses
Data on the extent of foodborne illnesses and related deaths are incomplete and may understate the extent of the
problem because most cases go unreported. However, according to the best available estimates by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and other public health and food safety experts, millions of illnesses and thousands of
deaths each year in the United States can be traced to contaminated food. Moreover, public health officials believe that
the risk of foodborne illnesses has been increasing over the last 20 years.
Although foodborne illnesses generally cause temporary disorders of the digestive tract, they can also lead to more
serious consequences. While the precise cost of foodborne illnesses is unknown, recent estimates range
from over $5 billion to more than $22 billion annually. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates, the cost of
medical treatment and lost productivity related to foodborne illnesses from seven of the most harmful bacteria may have
been as much as $9.4 billion during 1993.
Between 6.5 million and 81 million cases of foodborne illness and as many as 9,100 related deaths occur each year,
according to the estimates provided by several studies conducted over the past 10 years. Table 1 shows the range of
estimates from four studies cited by food safety experts as among the best available estimates on the subject. The table
also identifies the data on which these estimates are based. While various foods have been implicated as vehicles for
pathogens in foodborne illnesses and related deaths, the available data do not allow a precise breakdown by specific
foods. In general, animal foods—beef, pork, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs—are more frequently identified as the
source of outbreaks in the United States than non-animal foods. USDA, which regulates meat and poultry products, has
estimated that over half of all foodborne illnesses and deaths are caused by contaminated meat and poultry products.
Antimicrobial Drug–Resistant Escherichia coli from Humans and Poultry Products, Minnesota and
Wisconsin, 2002–2004, James R. Johnson,*† Mark R. Sannes,*†1 Cynthia Croy,*† Brian Johnston,*† Connie
Clabots,*† Michael A. Kuskowski,*† Jeff Bender,‡ Kirk E. Smith,§ Patricia L. Winokur,¶# and Edward A. Belongia**
Emerging Infectious Diseases • www.cdc.gov/eid • Vol. 13, No. 6, June 2007
The food supply, including poultry products, may transmit antimicrobial drug–resistant Escherichia coli to humans.
Extended-Spectrum -Lactamases (ESBLs), Food, and Caphalosporin Use in Food Animals.
Peter Collignon and Frank Aarestrup, These drug-resistant bacteria then spread to people via food and other
2008 -- New Consumer Guide Points to Health and Environmental
Risks of Sludge Use in Food Production
Ben Lilliston, 612-870-3416, firstname.lastname@example.org
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