I received an email today from one of my many "fans" suggesting that it might well be a good idea to export me to some hot, dark location. I think the actual language was "Marler, go to hell!"
It was unclear if it came from one of the hundreds of big companies that I have sued over the last two decades for poisoning their customers, or from some member of the "teat" party (cross between the tea party and proponents of raw milk).
Thinking that hell might not be the best option, I thought of the hell that Germany and Japan have been going through over the past several weeks. In Germany there are more than 600 people sickened with E. coli O104:H4 and over 241 who have developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. As many as 5 are dead. They are in a living hell.
Interestingly, the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak in Germany and the E. coli O111 outbreak last month in Japan (sickened nearly 100, many seriously, with 4 deaths) are in stark (but good) contrast to what seems to be a significant downturn in E. coli outbreaks in the United States.
Sure, in 2009 we had outbreaks linked to cookie dough, JBS Swift beef and beef from Fairbanks Farms, and in 2010 there were outbreaks linked to National Steak and Poultry, romaine lettuce and Bravo Farms Cheese, and since the beginning of 2011 there have been small outbreaks from hazelnuts and bologna. However, either public health is so underfunded that they cannot catch an outbreak, or the food industry has finally taken my advice and are "putting me out of business."
Of course, I am quite sure that the reason we are seeing fewer and smaller E. coli outbreaks in the United States are the 18 years that I hammered away at industry to "stop poisoning your customers." So, whether that is because I have sued them at every option, or the hundreds of food safety speeches I have given in the last two decades, the E. coli outbreak numbers in the United States are down, and that is a good thing.
Perhaps being exported to Germany or Japan is an option?