CBC – Thu, 12 Jul, 2012
Some people who grow and sell organic food in New Brunswick are disputing suggestions their customers are more vulnerable to E. coli infection.
Earlier this week, following an outbreak of a potentially deadly strain of the infectious bacteria in Fredericton, a leading scientist told CBC News organic vegetables are more susceptible to E. coli contamination because producers use animal manure fertilizer instead of chemicals.
There are four confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Fredericton, public health officials have said.
That’s the same strain that killed seven people during the tainted water scandal in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000.
At least two of the latest victims have been hospitalized while public health officials continue to investigate, trying to determine the source.
Dr. Denis Allard, the province’s acting chief medical officer of health, has said it could be another week before he has any new information for the public and that the source may never be identified.
But Karen Davidge, a certified organic farmer in Keswick Ridge for 32 years, disputes the idea that organic produce is any more likely to have E. coli than produce from traditional farms.
“This gentleman ought to make himself more knowledgeable of the Canadian Organic Production Standards. And that’s through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. And that’s by law,” said Davidge, who runs Good Spring Farm.