News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Mexico criticizes US salmonella findings

By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jul 31, 7:14 PM ET

Mexican agriculture officials said Thursday that U.S. colleagues hunting for the source of a salmonella outbreak are rushing to a conclusion about finding the strain at a Mexican pepper farm.

The salmonella sample that one U.S. official called "a smoking gun" was taken from a water tank that had not been used for more than two months to irrigate crops, said the director of Mexico's Farm Food Quality Service, Enrique Sanchez.

Sanchez told a news conference on Thursday that the tank held rain water and suggested that roaming cattle or other factors could have recently contaminated the tank with the same strain of salmonella that has sickened 1,300 people in the United States since June.

On Wednesday, Dr. David Acheson, the food safety chief for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, described the finding of the salmonella strain at a farm in the northern state of Nuevo Leon as a key breakthrough in the case.

"We have a smoking gun, it appears," said Dr. Lonnie King, who directs the center for food-borne illnesses at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sanchez said the U.S. officials "totally lacked scientific evidence" to make such statements and said they had broken a confidentiality agreement by announcing findings before their investigation is complete.

"We're eating this same produce in Mexico and we haven't had any problems," Sanchez said.

He suggested the FDA officials confused the source of the samples because the tainted water was found on a farm in the Tamaulipas state municipality of Hidalgo — not in Nuevo Leon as the FDA reported.

The FDA issued a statement later Thursday saying it was "surprised and disappointed" the Mexican response.

"We are confident of our findings," the statement said. "FDA's analytical methods are publicly available."

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