There is no disputing that 2015 was a rough year for Chipotle. Despite going the bold route and nixing all GMO ingredients from its menu, the Mexican restaurant franchise was struck by several incidences of bad luck, five of which follow:
It began in July, when five people in Seattle, Washington, were sickened with E. coli. The source of the outbreak remains unknown.
Then, a minimum of 234 people were sickened with the norovirus in Simi Valley, California, after consuming food from a Venture County Chipotle, reports Natural Society. Still, the source of the outbreak is unknown.
After that incident, 64 people fell ill with salmonella in August and September in Minnesota. Reportedly, the source of the outbreak was found to be tomatoes served at 17 of the state's Chipotle establishments.
Shortly after, 52 people contracted E. coli on October 9, 2015, at establishments in California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. Like the first two outbreaks, the source is unknown.
Then, in December, more than 140 college students became ill with norovirus after eating a a Chipotle in Boston's Cleveland Circle neighborhood, near Boston College. The source of the outbreak is unknown.
With no source known for 4 out of the 5 outbreaks, some are suspecting foul play is behind the franchise's bad luck.
This thought spurred Mike Adams, an outspoken activist and founder of Natural News, to openly state that Chipotle is being targeted by bioterrorism because it is the only fast food company that has publicly denounced GMOs.
In an opinion piece, Adams states:
"Chipotle's e.coli outbreaks are not random chance. They are the result of the biotech industry unleashing bioterrorism attacks against the only fast food company that has publicly denounced GMOs."
Pointing to CDC reports showing that several of the E. coli outbreaks were triggered by an extremely rare genetic strain, the activist puts two and two together and accuses the biotech industry of retaliating against Chipotle by deliberately planting bugs in the company's food supply chain:
"How do we know? The CDC has already admitted that some of these E.coli outbreaks involve a 'rare genetic strain' of E.coli not normally seen in foods. Furthermore, we also know the track record of the biotech industry engaging in the most criminal, dirty, sleazebag tactics imaginable against any person or company that speaks out against GMOs."
If you read the piece, it's clear Adams is not shy about expressing his opinion:
"To be clear, what's really happening at Chipotle is that biotech industry shills are deliberately contaminating Chipotle's food with strains of e.coli in a malicious attempt to destroy both the reputation and finances of the Chipotle food chain."