Monday, August 30, 2010
Why No Vaccinations for E. Coli and Salmonella? Absent from all the reporting I have seen on the recall of over half a BILLION eggs in the United States is any mention of the obvious solution to salmonella concerns: why don't we just inoculate people — not hens — against salmonella? Similarly, we periodically hear of tons of ground beef being recalled out of worries about E. coli. So why don't we inoculate people, not cattle, against E. coli?
A quick search of the Internet shows there have been at least experimental vaccines, for use in humans, against both these pathogens. What is the hangup?
Plainly if people are rendered immune to both salmonella and E. coli, we wouldn't have to recall enormous quantities of eggs and other foodstuffs — lettuce, spinach, and other produce as well as ground beef — because of hugely exaggerated worries over these relatively feeble microbes. If the organism whose health we are concerned about is human beings, we should be directing all efforts in regard to such pathogens to immunizing PEOPLE. Then they can be out in the world and eat safely, even runny eggs and rare hamburgers. We should, in short, treat the United States like a Third World country in the tropics, for which vaccinations for endemic microbes are routine, indeed universal. Let people who are opposed to all types of vaccinations bear the entire risk of being unprotected. And let the rest of us go about our business without being bothered by needless, preposterous, and extravagant recalls of millions of pounds of safe foods to protect against small quantities of actually contaminated foods — because the contamination is of no matter because people are immune to the microbial taint.
Why would we do ad-hoc recalls that do serious harm to businesses if we can do general immunizations that harm no one?
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,416 — for Israel.)
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