Isn't the cause of E coli 0157:H7 Dennis Avery's 'organic disease'? I
certainly don't mean to minimize this crisis and tragedy for families in
Ontario, but I don't suppose the wells were contaminated with organic
Can someone tell us, maybe Ann Clark, more about dairy/livestock
practices around Walkertown? Are there confinement animal operations?
Is the manure stored in slurry tanks before spreading or or is straw
pack? What is the pasturing situation around this area? A recent
article in Science News stated that about 50% of cows in conventional
(confinement) herds tested were positive for E coli 0157:H7. 1998 work
at Cornell showed that cows fed forage harbored virtually no E. coli
0157:H7, probably due to a change in the acidity of their stomach.
There IS a connection!
Before there are any more such tragedies, we should find out more about
what cow gut conditions favor E coli 0157:H7 and what cow gut conditions
do not, and how farming practices can alter that. We need to look
UPSTREAM from the immediate crisis and discover not just how to prevent
erosion and runoff from sodden corn fields, but prevent the massive
proliferation of this bacteria in cattle to begin with.
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