Posted on 06 October 2008 by

Lawmakers Seek Compensation for Salmonella Summer

By Michelle Fabio

Remember the Salmonella Scare from this past summer?

The one in which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers about certain tomatoes, blaming our beloved ‘maters for over 1,000 illnesses and 200 hospitalizations around the country, but then backtracked and said that, on second thought, it looks like it was really jalapeño peppers that were the cause?

Well, a report from the University of Georgia estimates that the salmonella scare of this past summer cost Georgia’s economy approximately $25.7 million–and that is just one state.

To no one’s surprise, this past summer, eight Florida lawmakers introduced a bill asking for $100 million for tomato growers and others affected by what many claim was the FDA’s mishandling of the salmonella scare, and now, in a separate request, Georgia Representative Sanford Bishop (D) is asking the House of Representatives to consider giving $100 million to make up for such losses.

“We cannot have another summer like the past one,” Bishop said. “As long as this country produces a domestic supply of food and fiber, we will have incidences of contamination every now and then. But we cannot and must not allow those relatively rare situations to affect entire unrelated industries ever again.”

With the nation’s economy crumbling around its citizens, we can only hope that there’s something left over for our tomato growers.

Source: Compensation sought for tomato growers devastated by salmonella scare

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