On Monday, February 8, 2016, Chipotle’s two thousand restaurants closed their doors for the day to customers, in order to hold special employee meetings regarding last year’s outbreak of E. coli, a bacteria often associated with food poisoning.
You may remember that last year Chipotle was the first restaurant chain to announce that it would phase out the use of genetically modified foods, also known as “G.M.O.’s”. Shortly thereafter, and quite mysteriously, an E. coli outbreak was reported, across fourteen states, from Washington to Pennsylvania, and only in Chipotle restaurants. According the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (C.D.C.), the odds of an E. coli outbreak crossing a single state line is only three percent, as restaurants generally buy their produce and meat regionally for freshness. The likelihood of an E. coli outbreak crossing fourteen state lines, coast to coast, is probably a small fraction of one percent. Additionally, as many restaurant chains use produce and meat from the same sources, it is probably a fraction of a fraction of one percent that such a nationwide E. coli outbreak would only affect one restaurant and not any others.
After six months of thorough investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), the C.D.C., fourteen state and local Health Departments, as well as scientists hired by Chipotle themselves, all have independently concluded that there is not a single traceable source of E. coli from any Chipotle restaurant, in any food ingredient, preparatory surface, or piece of equipment. Literally thousands of individual tests were conducted on the all the foods, on all the kitchen surfaces, and on all the appliances at the suspect Chipotles, and no trace whatsoever of E. coli was found in any restaurant or food ingredient. The C.D.C. being unable to trace the source of a restaurant’s food poisoning, after thousands of tests and half a year of effort, has never happened before in the entire history of the organization.
As employees of Chipotle enjoy free meals after a shift, it is also noteworthy to report that not a single employee suffered an illness, although customers did. Furthermore, with the advent of precise D.N.A. testing, there were two, specifically different, strains of E. coli discovered, when there should have been just one, though they both “coincidentally” appeared simultaneously in different locations, one type for eleven of the states, and another type for the other three states, the latter being a very rare strain of E. coli, normally found only in food research labs. There was also an additional “coincidence”, in that the C.D.C., known through their own interdepartmental memos and former employees as a submissive servant and propaganda arm of the G.M.O. food industry, “just happened” to have federal officers on a “random” visit to the very local Seattle Health Department lab, at the very time, where and when the Chipotle E. coli bacteria was first analyzed, so as to immediately report the incident nationally, even though this was quite the opposite of standard operating procedure, which was suddenly changed in Chipotle’s case, as normally the release of information about an outbreak is withheld until an in-depth investigation.
What does all this mean?
G.M.O.’s are estimated to be a twenty billion dollar a year industry. As G.M.O.’s are banned in much of both Eastern and Western Europe, in advanced countries like Germany, France, and Russia, one has to ask, “What do their scientists and doctors know that we don’t?”, or perhaps even better, “Why does Russia, Germany, and France care more for the health of their citizens than the United States Federal Government?”, as obviously the bans only exist because of ill health effects from eating such genetically altered “Frankenfoods”, as they have been nicknamed.
Taking the D.N.A. from a pig and an eel, two foods which religious theologians rightfully call “unclean” because pigs eat manure (a source of E. coli) and eels eat month old corpses (a source of E. Coli), and then putting these animal’s contaminated D.N.A. into “clean” meat such as salmon and otherwise healthy fruits and vegetables to allegedly “improve” them beyond eons of nature, has to be considered very odd at the least by any person searching for the truth about which foods are, and which foods are not, the healthiest to eat. As with cigarettes in the past, there were money hungry “doctors” and “scientists” who were willing to take large sums of cash from the tobacco industry to say that cigarettes were not only “perfectly safe”, that they actually “improved your respiratory health”! The same is true today of G.M.O. foods in America, which are strictly banned in other countries for their ill health effects.
Chipotle is one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the world, making their stock investor’s very wealthy, all the while pursuing a uniquely ethical, and therefore rare, approach to the “fast food” industry. In this way, Chipotle is not just a newcomer, they are a rare corporate outsider as well. If tens of thousands of other chain restaurants were to follow their profitable lead, then the G.M.O. industry could lose twenty billion dollars. Do not think for a second that this does not threaten and frighten the G.M.O. industry. If I had twenty billion dollars of sales coming in, and some new guy on the block was threatening to take my twenty billion dollars away from me, I would take action. If I were soulless, as we know some people and corporations are, then I would take unethical action, including infecting my competitor’s businesses with E. coli, in order to discredit them and bring them to financial ruin. In fact, it has already worked. Since the reported outbreak, Chipotle’s stock and sales have dropped forty percent. This is a potential loss of three hundred million dollars.
I have been a filmmaker and writer for most of my life, and half of my clients are corporations, some of which are multi-million dollar restaurant chains. In this capacity, I once worked on a project putting together a video of a focus group of customers of one such restaurant chain. This company spent an estimated fifty thousand dollars hiring an ad agency and me to put together a thirty minute film regarding their customer’s thoughts of their business. One week after the completion of the project, I received a telephone call from another client, also a restaurant chain, who was a competitor of the first, and was asked if I could duplicate an interdepartmental video. “Sure”, I said. “No problem”. When I watched the film to confirm it was being copied properly, I saw the very same video that their competitor had paid fifty thousand dollars for only a week earlier. I wondered to myself, “How on earth did they get a copy of this?”, and, “I wonder how much they paid for it?”
Unscrupulous people see business as literal war. To them, a few casualties, sick or dead, is normal operating procedure. Corporate espionage is nothing new. Nabisco, a multi-billion dollar bakery, used to have flyovers of aerial photography of their factories by competitors to tabulate trucking supplies for future projected revenue. General Motors president, James Roche, testified before congress that he had hired professional spies to follow, and try to discredit through illegal and disreputable means, Ralf Nader, who merely wrote a book criticizing the automobile industry, for fear Nader’s truthful revelations about inept car safety would lead to a loss in sales revenue of two million dollars. Imagine what they would be willing to do for twenty billion dollars!
Corporate espionage is real. I know this firsthand. In this, we have to remember, that espionage has two distinctive purposes, just as it did during World War Two, with the French Resistance for example. Purpose one, to collect information. Purpose two, to sabotage your opponent. We have to keep in mind that there are professional hitmen out there today, in every state, that will kill a total stranger for ten thousand dollars. This means for twenty billion dollars, you could kill two million people if you so desired, so what is it to make a few dozen people sick to their stomach for three hundred million dollars? . . . the profits of which you could make from selling your Chipotle stock right before the E. coli outbreak which you caused!
Recently a “theory” has surfaced, from “unknown sources”, to deflect the real cause of the Chipotle outbreak, that Australian beef was the culprit. Surely, in the thousands of individual tests the F.D.A., the C.D.C., and fourteen Health Departments did over the last six months of Chipotle’s food, this included the beef, one of their main ingredients. Give me a break. Again, corporate disinformation is the culprit, through the newspapers which they also own, in the form of “sources” which are as traceable as Chipotle’s E. coli.
The fact is, in an effort to improve the health of their customers and the quality of their food, Chipotle uses only grass-fed beef, the cows of which are allowed to freely roam in open pastureland, unlike practically every other restaurant chain in the country, which uses genetically modified corn-fed beef, of cattle held in unsanitary overcrowded cages, where E. coli is very prevalent. Because this less than ideal methodology is used in the vast majority of the United States industrialized beef production, Chipotle has chosen to import, at considerable greater expense, Australian beef, which meets their stricter quality and health requirements of grass-fed and free-range cattle, the supply of which doesn’t even exist in the U.S. to meet their customer’s demand for higher quality and healthier beef. The U.S. G.M.O. corn-fed beef farms are corporate cousins of the G.M.O. industry, which also often put profits before public health, and would also greatly benefit if their higher quality Australian beef competitor were put out of business by similar discrediting.
Not only did Chipotle’s stock drop forty percent after the E. coli outbreak, they have had to suffer the unfair implication that G.M.O. food is somehow safer, when the exact opposite is true, hence the ban of such in more enlightened countries. Television’s “Dr. Oz”, for example, simply said, albeit on nationwide television, that G.M.O. foods should be labeled as such. Immediately thereafter, he was targeted with a character defamation campaign, later proven to be conducted by former felons working for the G.M.O. industry.
Can you see how serious a matter twenty billion dollars is to unscrupulous people? Thusly, you can now comprehend how synchronized visits of corporate spies of the G.M.O. industry, to various Chipotle locations to taint the food in the dining rooms with E. coli bacteria, is not only plausible, it is very likely. This is precisely why there were no sick employees, no E. coli anywhere to be found in any kitchen, two different types of E. coli simultaneously appearing in different states, and one of which being a very rare strain often used in G.M.O. laboratories. On top of it all, perfectly synchronized as well, were assigned federal agents of the G.M.O. friendly C.D.C. “coincidentally” in the very local Health Department lab, at just the right time, to analyze and nationally publicize the first Chipotle E. coli sample, successfully defaming on the international stage the first and only anti-G.M.O. restaurant chain in the world, with its two thousand stores, and growing threat to the G.M.O. industry.
According to Reuters news service, an unidentified senior Chipotle executive disclosed that a federal criminal probe is now underway to investigate the sabotage of Chipotle’s reputation and stock deflation through the deliberate planting of laboratory bred E. coli bacteria onto their customer’s food.
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