08-18-13 AMY TRAINER / EAC linked to ATTEMPT TO SMEAR DBOC WITH FALSE STORY

Last Tuesday, a seven-paragraph “article” was published by a New York internet-based group called Food World News (see below), declaring that the CA State Health Department ordered a recall of  DBOC oysters

 

After it appeared on the internet (and to find out what was going on), Kevin Lunny was immediately contacted and so was Sarah Rolph, and he immediately contacted Ginny Cummings, the oyster farm manager, who in turn, then immediately contacted the State Health Department. 

 

All were stunnedThere was no recallThere was no shut-downNo one got ill.  Health Department officials knew nothing about it. No warning against was issuedDBOC does not sell oysters to the Wegmans chain (on East Coast).

 The Reporter at Food World News claimed the story was triggered by a “Google Alert” which no one at DBOC received and so far, notwithstanding daily requests, the editor and reporter at Food World News have refused to provide.

 

Within a short time, EAC Executive Director, Amy Trainer, “tweeted” (under the name “ProtectPtReyes” that DBOC oysters “ma(k)ing us sick.”  After a demand from DBOC representatives, Trainer’s reckless statement was taken down.

 

There is no nice way to say or explain this:  Whatever the explanation, THIS WAS A SMEAR.  This was an attempt to undermine DBOC’s ability to conduct business.  This was an effort to drag the Lunny name through the gutter.  To declare it “disgusting” is a polite description

 

The highly respected Food Safety News (not to be confused with Food World News), as soon as they learned of the bogus story, conducted their own review and this am, published an editorial on-line repudiating the Food World News report. 

 

Below – the Food Safety News Editorial, the Food World News (False) Story and the Amy Trainer Tweet.

 

 

 

 

From the Food Safety News Editorial.

The Food World News story was entirely false.

The California Department of Public Health did not issue a warning, there was no recall of Drakes Bay oysters, nobody was sickened by Drakes Bay oysters, and Drakes Bay has never sold an oyster directly or through any broker to Wegman’s.  

Any company wrongly named in such a story can be expected to push back, but Drakes Bay is involved in a life and death struggle with the U.S. Department of Interior and California Coastal Commission, which is apparently in cahoots with some of the largest environmental groups who want it shut down. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has an anger management problem,  refused to renew its lease just before he resigned.

However, many conservationists and environmentalists from the region, including those who originally called for protection of the estuary, see a place for the oyster business and support another long-term lease for Drakes Bay.

 

Food Safety News

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/08/letter-from-the-editor-14/#.UhBuZeCABSU

Letter From The Editor: False Story Was NOT Ours!

By Dan Flynn | August 18, 2013

Opinion

Food Safety News is often named as a trusted source by other media, which adds to our credibility as a valued asset. Anything that devalues our credibility concerns us greatly. We experienced one of those devaluing events this week.

Two Food Safety News stories which were published almost one year apart — and had nothing to do with one another except that both dealt with oysters — were mangled together with others by a news website previously unknown to us called “Food World News.”

In their story, written by a newly minted reporter, the New York-based news site reported on Aug. 13, 2013  that: “The state Department of Public Health issued a warning against the largest oyster producer in California on Friday, after three people’s illnesses was linked back to oysters, according to Food Safety News.

It went on to say the oysters were from the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and included information from both the Huffington Post and the Oakland Tribune, before again citing Food Safety News for reporting the Drakes Bay oysters were sold in Wegmans stores between July 13 and Aug. 5, 2013.

The Food World News story was entirely false.

The California Department of Public Health did not issue a warning, there was no recall of Drakes Bay oysters, nobody was sickened by Drakes Bay oysters, and Drakes Bay has never sold an oyster directly or through any broker to Wegman’s.  “Oyster Recall: Drakes Bay Oyster Linked to Bacteria Illnesses; Shellfish Sold from Wegmans,” by Food World News was entirely taken down by the website after folks working for Drakes Bay filed their objections.

Any company wrongly named in such a story can be expected to push back, but Drakes Bay is involved in a life and death struggle with the U.S. Department of Interior and California Coastal Commission, which is apparently in cahoots with some of the largest environmental groups who want it shut down. Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has an anger management problem,  refused to renew its lease just before he resigned.

However, many conservationists and environmentalists from the region, including those who originally called for protection of the estuary, see a place for the oyster business and support another long-term lease for Drakes Bay. The struggle has gone on for a long time and with the government side, especially the National Park Service, being charged by Drakes Bay with running what amounts to  disinformation campaign. They have not said this is part of that, but Drakes Bay is trying to get to the bottom of this one.

When you drop a false story into this sort of mix and it is immediately tweeted by the opposition, you can at least understand why the Drakes Bay folks might be a little paranoid. Big forces really are out to get them.

Still, in trying to piece this together on my own, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most likely explanation for what happened was a few missteps by the newbie reporter.

First, last Saturday (Aug 10), Food Safety News did report on the recall of Cape Neddick/Blue Point oysters by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture for possible Vibrio contamination. The oysters were sold at Wegmans stores, between July 13 and Aug 5, 2013.

Second, the trigger for doing their story, according to what little the Drakes Bay people have been able to get out of Food World News, was a Google alert. Nobody else has seen it, but it’s possible.  Every once in a while, old stories show up as new on Google alerts, usually due to some change, even very minor ones. As a result, we always check dates and time stamps, but it’s possible to be fooled.

And, third, there was a warning about a few lots of Drakes Bay oysters sent out by the CDPH last year at the very time in question (Aug. 13, 2012). If one those reports was recycled on its anniversary date, and an inexperienced reporter then went looking for what else was available on the same subject, a mess of a story could be the result.

And a mess it was. Just not ours.

© Food Safety News

 

 

THE FALSE STORY

 

Aug 13, 2013 Last Updated: 15:37 PM EDT

Oyster Recall: Drakes Bay Oyster Linked to Bacteria Illness; Shellfish Sold From Wegmans

Aug 13, 2013 03:12 PM EDT | By Dina Exil

The state Department of Public Health issued a warning against the largest oyster producer in California. (Photo : Flickr / ganesha.isis)

The state Department of Public Health issued a warning against the largest oyster producer in California on Friday, after three people’s illness was linked back to oysters, according to Food Safety News. 

The oysters are from Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which has shut down all operations after being notified by the Health Department that its oysters may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a naturally occurring bacterium that can cause serious illness, the company’s manager Ginny Cummings told the Oakland Tribune.

After eating in separate San Francisco restaurants last month, three people reportedly began feeling ill and one reportedly had to be hospitalized. When consumed raw, the oysters pose a health threat, particularly to individuals with compromised immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 4,000 cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection occur in the United States every year. Symptoms of infection include watery diarrhea, often with abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Usually these symptoms occur within 24 hours of ingestion. Illness is usually self-limited and lasts three days. 

According to the Huffington Post, medical officials have not reported any other illness. Oysters supply almost 40 percent of California’s shellfish. 

“As a family business, we’re doing the best we can do under the circumstances, which is a waiting game at this point,” Cummings said, according to the Tribune. “We’re working hand-in-hand with the health department on this. Our biggest concern is that people are healthy.”

According to Food Safety News, the recalled oysters were sold in Wegmans seafood departments between July 13, 2013 and August 5, 2013. They may also have been sold in Wegmans restaurants, Food Bars and Pubs. 

A complete list of the recalled products and photos of the shellfish tags and labeling is on the department of public health website

 

THE AMY TRAINER, ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COMMITTEE, “DRAKESBAYOYSTER MA(K)ING US SICK” & CaPublicHealth “SHUTS DBOC DOWN” TWEET

 

Amy, On Tuesday August 13, 2013, on twitter saying CDPH has shut DBOC down:

 

“Oysters from @drakesbayoyster ma(k)ing us sick @CaPublicHealth shuts DBOC down”. 

 

Trainer “Tweets” under the handle “ProtectPTReyes”.

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Disgusting that a once respected organization, EAC, stoops so low. They are stuck in a spiral circle of lies and misinformation. Just to be right. Go Drake’s Oysters!

    Reply

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