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Why did CNN interview the ‘food babe’ about the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak?

| | December 5, 2018

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The Food and Drug Administration’s urgent warning about a romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak left many Americans wondering …. what they could do to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, viewers who tuned into a [recent] CNN segment on the crisis—which featured a blogger who bills herself as Food Babe …. got the wrong answers.

Anchor Ana Cabrera kicked things off by describing self-appointed food investigator Vani Hari as someone who has “studied where our food comes from quite a bit” before asking how the outbreak happened. “[W]hat’s the worst part of this situation is that we do not have a supply chain check-and-balance in place,” Hari said.

“…. I avoid the bag and box lettuces and I really go for, like, the whole head of lettuce,” [Hari] said …. But that’s not really how …. foodborne illness works—and a head of lettuce isn’t any safer than a boxed or bagged version, an FDA spokesperson told The Daily Beast ….

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“It’s true that there are more points of contamination,” the spokesperson said. “But just because a whole head of lettuce is going through [fewer] steps between consumers and where it’s grown does not make it necessarily safer than a bag of chopped up lettuce …. To say the romaine that went directly to a farmer’s market from the field is safer than a bag of lettuce—that’s not true,” the spokesperson said.

Read full, original article: CNN Lets ‘Food Babe’ Spout Pseudoscience on Lettuce Outbreak

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