May 14th, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Lettuce recall: Dr. Sanjay Gupta digs deeper

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that at least 23 people in four states have been sickened after eating Romaine lettuce contaminated with E.coli bacteria. The company that distributed the lettuce, Freshway Foods, has voluntarily recalled its products and told CNN it has been cooperating fully with public health officials to track the source of the outbreak. The lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, delis and salad bars; no E.coli has been found in the bagged lettuce you can buy in the grocery store.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with attorney Bill Marler to talk about food safety. Marler, a Seattle, Washington, attorney who specializes in representing victims of foodborne illness, is representing a client in the new lawsuit against Freshway Foods.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: You and I have talked about these issues over the years. What concerns you the most about this?

Bill Marler: Well, I think one of the big concerns is that we are seeing a new form of pathogenic E. coli hitting the market. This particular outbreak is E.coli 0145 just as deadly as the E.coli we hear about a lot, the 015787. But I think one of the big concerns is that we are seeing a new bug coming after us in the marketplace.

Gupta: A few years ago we went to one of the hardest hit outbreaks in recent years. The thing that you really impressed upon me at that time Mr. Marler, is this idea you have animals sometimes contaminating crops, you have a lot of natural occurrences that naturally can lead to food being contaminated. First of all, have things been improved since then? And can you really prevent that sort of thing from happening?

Marler: Well, I think the industry - many parts of the industry - have done a remarkable job. We certainly are not seeing the large-scale 200-250 sickened in outbreaks. We still see three or four sometimes five spinach or lettuce outbreaks yearly, and they are much smaller. This particular outbreak appears to be emanating from Arizona and this is the first time that there has been a leafy green outbreak in Arizona. So there are a lot of moving parts that I think we will learn a lot of over the next several months.

Gupta: Is it the FDA, the food maker, when you say somebody has to compensate? Who's going to compensate?

Marler: Ultimately it will be the grower, the shipper and the manufacturer of this particular lettuce. They have a responsibility to a consumer to do the absolute best they can to get animal feces out of their food products. And that obviously didn't happen here. Twenty-three states are recalling products. There are at least 23 people sick, probably a lot more because not very many lab tests for E. coli 0145.

See the full interview with Bill Marler on “Sanjay Gupta M.D.,” Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.

Filed under: Food Safety

May 14th, 2010
03:14 PM ET

Childhood psychological problems cost $2.1 trillion

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

A new study finds that childhood psychological disorders cost $2.1 trillion over the lifetimes of everyone affected in the United States.

The study, conducted by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, looked at American families for more than 40 years. Participants answered questions about their medical and psychological histories in their youths.

The study was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. The data came from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which has collected information about around 35,000 people from 5,000 American families over the past four decades.

Currently about one in 20 adult Americans has experienced psychological problems during childhood, the study said. Among study participants, 4 percent said they'd had depression, 2 percent said they'd abused alcohol or drugs, and 2 percent said they'd had other psychological problems before age 17.

Researchers found that having psychological problem during childhood was associated with an average of $10,400 less in income per year, compared with siblings without these conditions. People with psychological problems also tended to work about seven weeks fewer per year. They were also 11 percent less likely to marry than their healthy siblings.

Psychological problems that come back later had a big impact on economic losses in adulthood, the study said. Among those who said they had a psychological condition in childhood, about 36 percent said they also had one as an adult. By contrast, of the participants who had not experienced a psychological problem in childhood, only about 5 percent had one as an adult.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.