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A Primer on E. coli in Europe
By: Doug Bedell
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Here's a good primer on the E. coli outbreak in Germany, said to be the worst such crisis ever, from Phil Butler on Everything PR. Phil offers a a PR perspective with lots of folks in the European Union being too quick and willing to play the blame game. The economic consequences can be huge. The source, he explains, is likely a cow or a pig in the importation of meat, not Spanish vegetables.  (Yet, in a June 10 finding, European health officials announced that bean sprouts from a farm in northern Germany caused the outbreak. How the sprouts got contaminated – tainted seeds, water or nearby animals? – hasn't yet been answered. Here's the Times' story as well.)

"Discovering exactly who and why is a time consuming project for investigators," Phil writes, "but being naive is a commodity none of us can afford much longer. Germany and the rest of the EU get most of their beef from one outside source, a commune of producers in South America known as Mercosur. At this point it is not important to know who these business people are, just that demand for beef is about to exceed what these producers can produce..."


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About the Author
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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