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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spanish Cucumber Panic in Europe

German authorities have urged consumers not to eat raw cucumbers, tomatoes or lettuces as up to 330 serious infections have been reported across the country and 14 people have now died from a virulent strain of E.coli bacteria. Three out of four cucumbers were from an organic shipment from Spain that were sold in Hamburg supermarkets. The European Commission said that two southern Spanish producers of cucumbers are being investigated and a third suspect batch from either the Netherlands or Denmark was also under investigation. The German government said the deaths were caused by haemolytic-uremic syndrome, a serious complication of STEC which affects the blood, kidneys and nervous system and children and the elderly are the most seriously affected. The outbreak is the largest ever in the world of its kind and German officials don't know if the cucumbers were contaminated at the source, in transit, or in storage in Germany.

Professor Thomas Borody

Spain is furious at being blamed as the source. Cases of infection have been reported from Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK and suspect batches of cucumbers have been redistributed to France, Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. Because of the panic, people are not buying any fresh fruit and vegetables and farmers are suffering as tonnes of their vegetables are left to rot. I hope they haven't been using Biosolids.

Amity Smith

Biosolids are made from human sewerage and are being used as fertiliser on farms across New South Wales. Professor Thomas Borody thinks it's the reason for an outbreak of Third World parasites across Sydney. Doctors fear the Sydney Water biosolids strategy which turns 100,000 tonnes of human waste into fertilizer every year, is behind the gut bug Blastocystis hominis, usually found in dirty water in Third World countries and spread via faeces. Sydney Water says that our water is safe but secret tests show that it is not.

Sydney mother Amity Smith was told repeatedly by doctors that the reason she looked 6 months pregnant and was experiencing bad pain and stomach cramps was because she had irritable bowel syndrome. They kept telling her that for four years. As a last resort, she went to a specialist clinic and tests showed she had two parasites, dientamoeba fragilis and blastocystitis hominis in her gut. It took two infusions of anti-parasitic treatment to kill the pathogens. The doctor said it was transferred through the faecal-oral route - from eating contaminated food or drinking water that hasn't been treated properly in Third World countries. But Ms Smith hadn't been to any Third World countries. Sydney Water spokesman said the bug was not a concern and was unlikely to survive long outside the body and they were not aware of any cases directly caused by biosolids.

So biosolids are being used on our agricultural land and our health authorities are telling us not to worry. How will my juicy steak and veg ever taste the same if I know there's a possibility that the cow ate the grass and the vegetables were grown in human waste?