NCL statement on USDA’s announcement to regulate six additional strains of E. coli – National Consumers League

September 13, 2011

Contact: NCL Communications, (202) 835-3323,

Washington—The National Consumers League has issued the following statement regarding today’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement:

“The National Consumers League applauds USDA’s announcement that the agency will add six strains of non-0157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), known as “the Big Six” to its list of adulterants.

Foodborne illness impacts 1 in 6 Americans annually, leading to over 120,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), E. coli is a major source of illness and non-0157 STECs account for nearly two-thirds of E. coli infections.

USDA’s announcement means that American consumers will now be protected from “the Big Six” for the first time. These measures will ensure that the U.S. food supply is even safer in coming years. The National Consumers League, which has worked in concert with other consumer groups in support of this measure, commends the USDA on its decision to regulate these dangerous strains of E. coli.”


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit