Thirty-one people in Europe recently died from a little-known strain of E. coli. It is far from the first time such a thing has happened. In the United States, each year 325,000 people are hospitalized, and 5,000 die, as a consequence of food-borne illness.
However, this fact has still not generated any basic food-safety legislation. The lobbyists of the industrial farming system have blocked most initiatives to make food safer.
As a result, antibiotics can be recklessly given to healthy animals to make them grow faster -- the state of North Carolina uses more antibiotics for livestock than the entire United States uses for humans -- creating a perfect breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
According to the New York Times:
"We need more comprehensive inspections in the food system, more testing for additional strains of E. coli, and more public education (always wash your hands after touching raw meat, and don't use the same cutting board for meat and vegetables). A great place to start reforms would be by banning the feeding of antibiotics to healthy livestock."