The CDC has declared Chipotle's E. coli scare over, but the agency was never able to identify the source of the large-scale outbreak that sickened dozens of people. That uncertainty is adding fuel to the fire of a conspiracy theory that's been circulating for months, which speculates that the burrito chain may have been the victim of corporate sabotage.
Natural News first presented its theory back in December, claiming that biotech industry "food terrorists" had planted the E. coli "in retaliation" for Chipotle's anti-GMO stance. (It's worth pointing out here that Natural News is also the kind of site that publishes stories titled "Five Ingredients That Poison Your Brain" — number one is gluten, naturally.)
Now, it's published a followup story asserting that the CDC's inability to pinpoint the source of the outbreak further supports its claims of bioterrorism. Take it away, Mike Adams:
The most likely explanation is that in planning their corporate sabotage, the biotech bioterrorists derived their E. coli from an animal source far from any farm fields, then found a simple mechanism for nebulizing it (spraying it) on Chipotle food materials at targeted Chipotle restaurants. I'm not going to offer any details on how this could be accomplished (I don't want to give food terrorists any ideas), but I assure you it's a very simple matter to accomplish due to the way Chipotle has the fresh food ingredients placed adjacent to the customer line (so that customers can see their foods are being made fresh).
Of course, anyone who's taken a Philosophy 101 course can reason via good ol' Occam's razor that the more likely explanation here is that Chipotle was simply a victim of its own enthusiasm for serving fresh — and in some cases, local — produce. And in the CDC's statement announcing the end of the Chipotle investigation, the agency acknowledged that "When a restaurant serves foods with several ingredients that are mixed or cooked together and then used in multiple menu items, it can be more difficult for epidemiologic studies to identify the specific ingredient that is contaminated." But conspiracy theories sure do liven up an otherwise dull weekday.
And whether or not there are any internal rumblings at Chipotle about the possibility of corporate sabotage, the company's certainly not pointing any fingers: Under the watchful eye of the public and the media, it's been quick to take responsibility for its large-scale food safety disaster and has pledged to make its food safer than ever to win back its customers' trust. Diehard fans might even get a free burrito out of it.