I’m doing my best to find any reference to a recall of the seeds implicated by the FDA and CDC in the recent Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak, which is now responsible for at least 228 illnesses in 13 states. I can’t find any action by Caudill Seed taken to actually recall the product. I’m not talking about a market withdrawal, or any other less-than-serious effort to obscure the reality of this very significant public health nightmare. I’m talking about a recall . . . something that is supposed to voluntarily happen when a company (Caudill Seed) sells a product (alfalfa sprout seeds) that pose a significant public health risk (228 illnesses and counting).
Maybe the answer from Caudill Seed would be "well, we issued a market withdrawal." Here’s how the FDA defines "market withdrawal:" "occurs when a product has a minor violation that would not be subject to FDA legal action. The firm removes the product from the market or corrects the violation. For example, a product removed from the market due to tampering, without evidence of manufacturing or distribution problems, would be a market withdrawal."
By comparison, the FDA defines a Class I Recalls as follows: "a situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to a violative product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death."
This is not a market withdrawal situation. There are 228 confirmed illnesses in 13 states. These are human beings who have been exposed to something that can kill them.
Moreover, I’ve done some research to find out that alfalfa sprout seeds have an extremely long "shelf-life"–we’re talking years–the significance of which fact needs very little explanation here. If Caudill Seed doesn’t act quickly and, this time, with resolute action that is not done for purely PR purposes, but to actually PREVENT THE FURTHER SPREAD OF DISEASE, we may be having this same discussion for months. A Class I Recall was, and remains, warranted.
It is actions like this–which amount to little more than veneers of concern by foodmanufacturers–that keep Marler Clark in business.