If viewers didn’t get the chance to see Lou Dobbs’ first segment blaming the salmonella response on the ‘moronic’ FDA, they got another chance.
On June 18, Dobbs, of CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” ran virtually the same segment he aired on June 16. The story: the salmonella outbreak. Dobbs’ angle: the FDA is “excessively intellectually challenged.”
In the first report, Dobbs claimed that the FDA is “led by complete moronic, unengaged incompetents” and called them “idiots.” Dobbs linked the spread of salmonella to Bush. “As for this administration, were a responsible president at the helm of this country, I would wonder why he is not taking action, but then again, this is of course his FDA and his legacy.”
But one round of Dobbs vs. the FDA was not enough. The June 18 segment gave Dobbs another chance to berate the agency for not revealing the possible suspected sources of salmonella in tomatoes. Both times the story was spun to advocate for increased regulation.
“What is wrong with these people at the FDA? I mean, are they absolutely just so excessively intellectually challenged?” Dobbs inquired. He then insinuated that the FDA is “simply lacking principle or concern for the American consumer.”
The report included Dr. Robert Tauxe of the Center for Disease Control, who explained that the FDA does not want to rush to conclusions. “It’s really too early to call the peak.”
It also included Caroline Smith DeWaal, of the “consumer group” Center for Science in the Public Interest, an actively anti-business advocacy group that attacks the restaurant and food industry. DeWaal claimed for every one reported case of salmonella, “there are probably 40 people who have gotten sick but haven’t been reported.”
Dobbs also asked, for the second the time, why the FDA does not have inspectors in the fields looking for traces of salmonella in
”How about this? I would suggest that they send them to a tomato farm?,” Dobbs said in his trademark sarcastic tone. “It’d just be a wild guess, but I might think about that and I might also be talking with the distributors who brought these tomatoes into the grocery stores around the country.”
But there’s a lot of land to inspect. Florida has 45,200 acres of planted tomato fields, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2005. Rural Migration News says Mexico plants 50,000 acres of tomatoes annually.
As for Dobbs’s other suggestion, talking with distributors, the FDA says that “federal (principally CDC and the FDA) and state governments are working together to analyze samples from ill persons and product samples of tomatoes in an attempt to quickly identify the source(s) of the outbreak.”
Dobbs then implied that the FDA knows the source of the outbreak but is, for some reason, keeping it secret. “Do you believe the FDA already knows or suspects the source of this salmonella outbreak in tomatoes but is purposely keeping it from the public?” Dobbs asked in a viewer poll.
Dobbs’s final note of the segment was to once again warn against foreign imports. “The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services today praised Communist China for its efforts to ensure the safety of food and feed imports into this country,” Dobbs reported.