by Marion Nestle
Dec 20 2008

Bill Marler’s top ten

Bill Marler is a class-action lawyer in Seattle who specializes in food safety cases.  His Christmas letter this year gives his top ten picks for the food safety disasters of 2008.  Number 1 is melamine-laced Chinese food products.  He’s leaving #10 open just in case anything new happens between now and the end of the year.  Thanks Bill.  Enjoy your holiday dinners, everyone!

  • Eva

    All of the problems in our food supply, from sick cows to salmonella in our spinach, have to do with industrialized farming. It has been proven over and over again that farming practices that are based on how NATURE intended — sustainable, sun-and-grass-based farming — eliminate the need for pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and all the other unnatural additions to our foods that result in bacteria from mass processing and chemicals that our bodies can’t tolerate. Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemna, does the best job, I believe, in explaining the issue and the remedy (basically, a return to farming practices upon which we evolved). We can’t fight nature. It will win in the end.

  • Christine Irizarry

    “Melamine-laced Chinese food products”: Today my local paper, The Tennessean, reprints an LA Times article about melamine found in fish. How long before a recall is issued? May the new year bring us melamine-free food! Our best holiday presents: Dr. Nestle and other advocates for safe and nutritious food! – Christine

  • Interesting argument, Eva. Did you know that healthy cows contain harmful bacteria, too? Nature does not have us in mind like an benevolent deity. Using “natural” as a shortcut to “safe” is not a good idea. Did you notice all the outbreaks of E. coli in raw, local, organic milk that happened at the same time as the spinach outbreak two years ago?