There’s been more bad news, in the news, for meat eaters recently and once again it’s news that makes me worry.
A recent study, by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, found that around half of packaged raw chicken products bought at a range of grocery stores throughout the US, are contaminated with the dangerous E. coli bacteria.
The PCRM are a non-profit group of physicians that promote preventative medicine; a vegan diet is one of several things they advocate. Their study found that out of 120 raw chicken products they bought in 10 major US cities, 48% contained E. coli. They point out something that not everyone is aware of – the fact that E. coli is an indicator that contamination by feces is present.
In the New York Times, president of the PCRM, Dr. Neal D. Barnard said:
Most consumers do not realize that feces are in the chicken products they purchase.”
“Food labels discuss contamination as if it is simply the presence of bacteria, but people need to know that it means much more than that.”
Not everyone is convinced by the study, however, and some have even gone as far as claiming that the PCRM’s study is invalid, designed to scaremonger and promote the groups’ vegan diet ethos.
The New York Times article goes on to quote vice president of science and technology at the National Chicken Council, Dr. Ashley Peterson as saying:
These findings, not a ‘peer-reviewed’ study, are another misleading attempt by a pseudo-medical group to scare consumers in hopes of advancing their goal of a vegan society.”
While the jury may be out on the validity of this study, a recent study in the UK found that a fifth of all raw chickens bought in UK supermarkets carry bacteria that cause food poisoning, such as salmonella, listeria and campylobacter.
I don’t know about you, but if I were still eating chicken, I would be starting to get a little worried. Despite all the reassurances about the safety of raw chicken products, the potential for coming down with a nasty bout of food poisoning seems to be high.
I have mentioned before that I do not feel ‘superior’ to meat eaters, and I don’t want to come across as a ‘smug’ vegetarian; however, I do feel worried for meat eaters when reports like this hit the news.
Whatever you think of the PCRM study, I, for one, am thankful for the fact that they have brought this subject out into the open. We need to debate and discuss these issues and get to the truth of the matter, and we all need more education and information so that we can be aware of exactly what we’re eating, and what we’re feeding to our families.