Consumers

Effect Measure

Category archives for Consumers

Another death to add to the nine already attributed to the peanut cum salmonella affair. This one is the company itself and the jobs of its employees. The Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) is going belly up. I don’t mean Chapter 11 (reorganizing under the bankruptcy laws). I mean Chapter 7, as in liquidating. I…

Annals of peanut butter: learning lessons

People who make products containing peanut butter are seeing a dramatic drop in sales because of the salmonella problem (other posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here). That includes jarred peanut butters found in supermarkets (down 22% over the same period last year), although none are known to be contaminated. The Peanut Corporation of…

We are getting the first hints of a potential foodborne vehicle for the multi-state salmonella outbreak that began in September. We’ve seen it before:

You may be surprised to learn (I was) that the US is having a large (almost 400 people) multistate (42) salmonella outbreak (S. typhimurium, often but not always associated with poultry and dairy products). So far 67 hospitalizations, with patients spanning the age spectrum (ages 1 to 103).DNA fingerprinting has established all cases are related…

Mrs. R. and I tend to favor organic produce, just on general principles. It’s a bit more expensive but compared to eating out it’s nothing and we aren’t such volume consumers that we can’t make it up by my buying one less book a month. And while Obama’s many of Obama’s cabinet picks have gotten…

Golf? Golf, you say? Speak up!

I will admit to a prejudice that may disqualify me from civilized company. I don’t like the game of golf. When I was a youngster the first paying job I had (if I don’t count delivering newspapers) was as a golf caddy at a ritzy country club (the kind that didn’t admit people like me…

Fresh flowers and spoiled lives

A story on the wires about a paper in the journal Epidemiology this month (November) confirms what other work has shown: those beautiful flowers we buy in American florist shops have an added price attached to them, paid by the children of Central America. Epidemiology is one of the top tier journals in the field…

Toxic toy: the gift that keeps on giving

The economy is bad and everyone expects retail sales to be substantially off. But parents will scrimp on presents for each other to make sure their kids get presents they want. Whether we approve or not, we do it for our kids. I assume it’s hardwired into our brains somehow. But in the waning hours…

FDA and BPA: more stench

I run a fairly large research program at my University. My NIH grant, which runs in the tens of millions, pays for a lot of things, including a portion of my salary. But as Director, my salary is (alas) only a tiny portion of this complex operation, which has many senior principal investigators and core…

We’ve been saying this for a while. The produce industry has taken a big hit and their successful lobbying is one of the reasons. But it’s not just their fault. It’s also the fault of the Bush administration: