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Contaminated Spinach Makes Dozens Ill

Aired September 15, 2006 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you all for joining us. Our top story tonight, breaking news. The urgent growing nationwide concern tonight over contaminated spinach and an outbreak of e-coli that has made dozens of people sick and has killed one person. Now just minutes ago, federal health officials said they have now linked the outbreak to spinach from Natural Selection Foods, which happens to be a huge organic food company in California that sells its produce under the Earthbound Farm brand name. Now less than two hours ago we've learned that 12 more states, it's up to 20 now, have been added to the list of places where people have become ill. And the numbers continue to rise. Ninety five cases from all over the country. This is such a serious widespread outbreak. Federal health officials are warning everyone in the country to not eat any fresh spinach sold in bags. Let's get the very latest on this breaking news from our senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So, good to see you, doctor. What else did we learn from this news conference?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well it's been a truly developing story, several things. The numbers have gone up in terms of numbers of cases now, 94. Perhaps the most interesting and relevant is the fact that they have actually started their investigation to hone in on the specific company and the FDA has given a voluntary recall of bagged spinach made by Natural Selection Foods. And we just learned that Natural Selection Foods is going to recall spinach and spinach products that have the label used by dates between August 17 and October 1. Again, between August 17, October 1, if it has that label, if it is spinach in a bag or if it is in a clam shell container they're going to go ahead and recall those products. So this is new developments, as well. Also out of the 94 cases Paula this is interesting. Fourteen of those cases have what is called a hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a significant medical problem that's developing in a very high rate. Among the 94 cases, giving some evidence that this is a very, very problematic what we call pathogenic bacteria, Paula.

ZAHN: And what does that mean? I don't get that, doctor.

GUPTA: It makes people very sick.

ZAHN: The same horrible symptoms that we have described?

GUPTA: The same horrible symptoms but typically most people recover pretty well from an E.Coli infection. They get things like you see there. It is not pleasant but people do recover. Bloody diarrhea, the vomiting, the low grade fevers, the abdominal cramping and tiredness. But this other thing, the HUS or hemolytic uremic syndrome is a much more serious condition Paula. It is very rare typically. But as I said, out of those 94 cases 14 of the cases of HUS. And it just gives some evidence that we're dealing with a very problematic bacteria.

ZAHN: So help me with something else here. You have said that these recalls are now voluntary, but from what I understand they have not technically found the E.Coli bacteria in any spinach yet.

GUPTA: That is correct. This is the true sort of definition of epidemiology sort of investigation. What they have done Paula, it's almost like a shoe leather reporting. They've basically gone and they found all the people who got sick and said what did you eat? What was it that you ate? And they started to slowly narrow down and then they narrowed it down to spinach and then most recently they narrowed it down to the specific distributor of spinach, as well. And again, they're calling it not just bagged spinach but also spinach that might be combined with other vegetables or spinach in the clam shell containers, as well. So in some ways they have narrowed it down to the specific products, specific distributor, but have expanded the recall as well in terms of Natural Selection Foods actually recalling voluntarily some of these particular products.

ZAHN: I know you're going to stay on top of this for us tonight. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, if you have anything brand new bring it to us. We'll be waiting for you.

GUPTA: All right.

ZAHN: But right now we're going to quickly go to Wisconsin where the only death so far has been reported. Jonathan Freed is covering the outbreak for us tonight from there.


JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Health officials in rural Wisconsin have confirmed a 77-year-old (INAUDIBLE) county woman died last week as a result of an E.Coli infection. Officials say her death at a Green Bay hospital from kidney failure is linked to the E.Coli outbreak that spread to 20 states. But they don't yet know if the woman ate raw spinach. New York is the latest state with confirmed cases of E.Coli illnesses, seven of them, connected to bacteria in bagged spinach. The map has become cluttered with cases stretching from coast to coast with as many as 11 in Utah, and 30 in Wisconsin. Including the one death. Wisconsin's governor says the state was the first to identify the strain and made the genetic information available to other states.

GOV. JIM DOYLE, WISCONSIN: When officials in eight other states matched the genetic marker with the Wisconsin strain we determined that this was a nationwide epidemic with a single source.

FREED: At least 17 of the Wisconsin victims are hospitalized. And at least four of them are in what Milwaukee officials call a crisis situation. With possible kidney failure.

BEVAN BAKER, MILWAUKEE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH: And we're being very prudent in our caution to say that perhaps boiling, frying or sauteing may lessen the likelihood of infection but it does not completely take away the likelihood of infection. And for that reason I would say abstain from consumption.

FREED: On the streets of Manitowoc even before it was known the death touched this community there was concern. So both you and your young son ate spinach in a sandwich yesterday and today how are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually I do have a little bit of stomach cramping but I'm thinking maybe it's mind over matter type thing. I don't -- I'm not concerned at this point. I just think, ok, well all this scare is in me now and oh, my stomach hurts but I think I'm okay. My son is doing great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm actually afraid to eat it because there has already been one death.

FREED: At a cooking store in town worries about a favorite ingredient.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll buy it again. It's just going to take a little time until they find out the problem.


ZAHN: That was Jonathan Freed reporting for us tonight from Milwaukee. Ninety five cases, 19 states. In fact another report we're up to 20 states. How can this happen? Let's ask Jeffrey Nelken, a forensic food safety expert. Good of you to join us, sir. So what is the deal about organically raised spinach? Is it more susceptible to E.Coli bacteria than non organic?

JEFFREY NELKEN, FORENSIC FOOD SAFETY EXPERT: It's more an issue of how the product is handled. Remember, the product is coming from the earth and then there's fertilizer involved. And we want to really find out what went wrong as we figure out the pieces of this story. And as was mentioned earlier, that's the challenge of the epidemiologists.

ZAHN: So there's no difference you think between organically raised and non-organically raised in terms of its susceptibility to E.Coli bacteria?

NELKEN: Right, exactly. The bacteria is there in the fertilizer. It could be in the processing and the handling, so it's a 50/50 call.

ZAHN: We now have just learned from that conference call where the FDA got a bunch of journalists on the phone, that they have been investigating farms in Salinas, California, one farmer particularly now being targeted as the potential source of this. Is this a growing problem?

NELKEN: Well the problem is that we've developed several years ago what we call a hassup (ph) program and this is where we study the process from the field all the way to the fork and what we're looking at is we've identified several situations where it could be in the field, the issues coming up. There could be contaminated water. It could be workers. It could be in the packinghouse and that's why we have to go every step of the way and see where did it go wrong.

ZAHN: But if this product has made it all the way to supermarkets does it mean that there just aren't enough random samples being taken during this process?

NELKEN: Well it's not only a question of random samples but it's also a question of how the product is handled from the field every step of the way. And you could take the random samples and still not find the E.Coli because it may just be in sporadic batches.

ZAHN: So you're basically telling us tonight it's really very difficult to stop this from happening?

NELKEN: Exactly.

ZAHN: Well, that's not too encouraging for spinach and lettuce eaters out there. But we will understand the scope of the problem as you described tonight. Jeffrey Nelken, thanks, appreciate your expertise.

Coming up we have other several top stories we're following tonight including anti-American love fest just 90 miles from our shore. Watch.


ZAHN: Taunts and threats, some of America's sworn enemies meet in Havana aiming fiery rhetoric at the U.S. What are they doing right on our doorstep? Anger and outrage sweep the Muslim world but this time the Pope is in the crossfire. What did he say that has some Muslims comparing him to Hitler?

Plus, slim to none. A bombshell rocks the world of fashion. Models banned from the runway for being too thin. Is this the start of a whole new definition of beauty? All that and more just ahead.



ZAHN: Tonight's top story in politics now is the Republican revolt against some of President Bush's tactics in the war on terror. The revolt is so unusual and involves such big names that the president today used one of the most powerful political weapons in his arsenal. The bully pulpit of a White House news conference. And White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, a member of the best political team in TV was there for the fireworks.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush came out swinging, offering an aggressive defense of his plan for tougher interrogations of detainees under U.S. custody. Making no apologies for his request to clarify the Geneva Conventions, the international treaty which defines how prisoners of war are to be treated.

BUSH: We're trying to clarify law. We're trying to set high standards not ambiguous standards.

MALVEAUX: It's all part of the president's recent strategy to get voters to focus on national security, a Republican strength and off of focusing on the unpopular Iraq war. With the midterm elections now just seven weeks away, Mr. Bush is trying to push tough anti- terrorism measures through Congress. Banking on the belief that Americans will back him.

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: They have calculated if he puts more heat on Congress he's more likely to get his own way. And secondly that if he's justified as belligerent, he will actually help his own standing with the public and in turn help Republicans in the fall campaign.

MALVEAUX: But what the president didn't count on was a revolt from top members of his own party like possible 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. Over just how far he could go in asserting his executive power to spy on, imprison and interrogate terrorism suspects. Former secretary of state Colin Powell broke his loyal silence saying altering the Geneva Conventions would throw the moral basis of the U.S.'s war on terror in doubt.

BUSH: It's flawed logic. I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists.

MALVEAUX: Senior administration officials insist the split within the party is just a bump in the road. They say history shows the American people back the tough talk on terror. So that's what the president dolled out in his hour-long news conference, tough talk on the search for Osama bin Laden.

BUSH: We have been on the hunt and we'll stay on the hunt until we bring him to justice.

MALVEAUX: And on his refusal to sit down with Iran's president although the two men will be at the U.N. next week.

BUSH: No, I'm not going to meet with him.


MALVEAUX: Now, of course, Paula, it's unclear whether or not this strategy is going to work for the president but according to one GOP strategist I spoke with he said every day that the president talks about this broader war on terror as controversial as that may be and not the Iraq war is a good day for this White House. Paula?

ZAHN: That's why we saw him out there today. Suzanne Malveaux, thanks so much. We've got more of our top story coverage just ahead. First thought, let's check in with Melissa Long who has our countdown of the day's top stories on Melissa?

MELISSA LONG: Good evening Paula. Nearly 20 million people checked out the website today. There was quite a bit of interest in the story that comes in at number 10 tonight. A cult leader who masterminded a deadly poison gas attack in the Tokyo subway back in 1995 will be executed. Japan's supreme court today rejected an appeal from the defendant. Twelve people were killed in that attack.

Number nine TV reality star Duane "Dog" Chapman and two of his co-stars on the program are under arrest in Hawaii this evening. They face charges of illegal detention and conspiracy in the capture of a cosmetic's company heir three years ago.

And at number eight, that story about the arrest of two Green Bay, Wisconsin high school students who police say were planning a Columbine style attack. Police say the boys planned to set off bombs near the school bathrooms. Set the exits on fire with gel gasoline and then shoot the people they did not like. Paula?

ZAHN: Sends chills down your spine. Thanks Melissa, we'll check back in with you in a little bit.

Tonight's top story overseas is a get together of world leaders who are sworn enemies of the United States. Please stay with us. You're not going to believe some of the things coming out of their meeting in Cuba.

And then a little bit later the top story in religion. We're going to take a look at why Pope Benedict has made so many Muslims outraged around the world.


ZAHN: We now turn to our top story overseas. A summit in Havana, Cuba, of nonaligned nations that's producing political fireworks tonight. The nonaligned movement began back in the cold war with countries that didn't want to side with the U.S. or the Soviet Union. But now they have chosen Cuba to lead their movement and today many of the speakers in Havana were taking some pretty strong verbal swipes at the U.S. Gary Tuchman is in Havana and just filed this report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Heads of state from nonaligned nations posed for their class picture 90 miles from U.S. shores in Havana, Cuba. And the anti-American tone of this gathering can be summed up in this one shot. On the top right Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gets his back slapped. In the middle of the screen Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez does a little hugging and back slapping of his own. And waiting on the left for a little of the action the leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Three leaders preoccupying the U.S. government and the whole time they were assembling Cuban TV was playing a song, "Strangers in the Night Exchanging Glances" only added to the surreal quality of the photo op. The summit is officially hosted by Fidel Castro, but because he's still too sick after intestinal surgery to appear in public, his brother Raul welcomed the guests and defended people like Ahmadinejad.

RAUL CASTRO, INTERIM CUBAN LEADER: Let us denounce the hypocrisy of the U.S. government while supporting Israel's bid to increase their nuclear store is threatening Iran in an attempt to prevent the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

TUCHMAN: And Ahmadinejad responded in kind.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT: Cuba's fight for liberation and against imperialism is inspiring to many people as the resistance of the leadership of five decades has always had the support of the nonaligned movement.

TUCHMAN: Venezuela's Chavez who has visited Fidel Castro three times in the hospital, has been unmatched at this summit in antagonism towards the U.S.

HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT: American imperialism continues to prepare plans to arm conspiracies against the governments of Cuba and Venezuela. And I have the feeling against others.

TUCHMAN: Most of the nations here have decent relations with the United States, but the ones that don't have been loud about it.

HANS DE SALAS DEL VALLE, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: It's a wake up call for those who care to listen in Washington but it's also a threat. At the same time, it's no coincidence that the summit was inaugurated on September 11th. What we have seen is a drift from sympathy to antipathy against the United States since September 11, 2001.

TUCHMAN: Secretary-general of the United Nations visited the summit, too. His prepared speech steered clear of controversy. From what we know he did become the first international diplomat to visit the ailing Castro. And amid thundering applause declared Castro was doing well and had --

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: A firm handshake and an active and ever curious mind.


ZAHN: So Gary, does anybody expect to see Fidel Castro live? We have seen him in a bunch of pictures but no one has seen him come out in real time.

TUCHMAN: Yeah, I'll be honest with you Paula. Most of the people here who have come from all over the world to be part of this summit expected to see Fidel Castro kind of a coming out party. Cuban officials have told us they would not rule out he would show up but therefore people assumed that perhaps he would. There's only one day left of this summit and today was the big day and Fidel Castro did not show up. But tomorrow is the good-bye ceremony, so some people here are saying that they expect to see him tomorrow. That remains to be seen.

ZAHN: All right thanks Gary. Gary Tuchman reporting from Havana for us tonight.

More top story coverage in just a moment. Right now though let's go back to Melissa Long for more of our countdown. Melissa?

LONG: And Paula there was a flurry of flashbulbs today to capture a little bundle of joy. The marking of the first appearance for Japan's newest member of the royal family, Prince Kishohito was born a week ago, left the hospital today wrapped in white with his mom and dad. The baby is Japan's first male heir to the throne in some 30 years.

Number six, U.S. marshals have caught up with a convicted killer who has been a fugitive for 30 years. Thomas Frye whose real name is Thomas Ball was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee. Authorities say he escaped from a Michigan prison and then assumed a dead man's identity.

And at number five tonight Elton John says his very public feud with singer George Michael is now over. It started a couple of years ago when John said that Michael appeared to be in a strange place and was wasting his talent by staying at home. But no longer shunning the limelight, George Michael is embarking on a tour, his first in 15 years, a little later this month.

ZAHN: All right Melissa, thanks so much.

Move on now to the top story in religion tonight. Muslim outrage directed at Pope Benedict. Next in our in-depth coverage what the Pope said. And I'll ask a Muslim cleric why it's causing such an uproar.

Then a little bit later on a top story in popular culture the surprising comeback of a supermodel who has been in lots of trouble this past year in particular for being seen snorting cocaine, caught on camera. We'll talk more about that when we come back.


ZAHN: Our top story in religion tonight, outrage in the Muslim world over something Pope Benedict said this week. It's a controversy that's already sparked protests all around the globe. And after the violence last year over editorial cartoons in Danish newspapers that pictured the Prophet Mohammed reaction to the Pope's words is something we're all watching very closely. Faith and values correspondent Delia Gallagher fills us in on exactly what the Pope said that has many people so angry.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH & VALUES CORRESPONDENT: It didn't take long for the Pope's words to resonate around the world. At this demonstration in India accusations the Pope had dishonored the Prophet Mohammed and should be punished. Pope Benedict XVI made the controversial remarks this week at a German university where he once taught theology. As part of a lecture that went on for more than a half an hour, the Pope quoted what he warned was a startling brisk statement from a 14th century Christian Byzantine emperor.

POPE BENEDICT XVI: I quote, "show me just what Mohammed brought that was new. And there you will find things only evil and inhumane, such as his command to spread by the sword the fate he preached."

GALLAGHER: A full read of the highly technical lecture shows the Pope was quoting the emperor to make a larger point. That reason and faith go hand in hand and that the concept of a holy war is always unreasonable and against the nature of God, Muslim or Christian. But many Muslims only heard the criticism of Mohammed, their calls for apology now loud and clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Pope has dishonored our prophet. He said our prophet was a terrorist and he had used a sword. Those who say such things whether they are in India or abroad should be condemned and punished.

GALLAGHER: The Vatican has tried to clarify the Pope's remarks but stopped short of making an apology.

REV. FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN SPOKESMAN: It was certainly not the intention of the holy father to undertake a comprehensive study of the jihad and of Muslim ideas of (INAUDIBLE). Still less to offend the sensibilities of the Muslim faithful.

GALLAGHER: Only a few months ago riots broke out across the Muslim world after the publication in Denmark of cartoons deemed offensive to Islam. With tensions escalating, what will quell the anger.

BARIA ALAMUDDIN, FOREIGN EDITOR, AL-HAYAT: I hope the Pope will take this opportunity to indeed open a dialogue with the Muslim leaders and explain his comments.

GALLAGHER: The pope is scheduled to visit the officially secular, but predominantly Muslim country of Turkey at the end of November, but should he?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There clearly is great alarm about what kind of reception he's going to get.

GALLAGHER: Already plenty of criticism from Turkish politicians.

HALUK KOC, TURKISH OPPOSITION M.P. (through translator): The Pope's words have added fuel to the fire in the world where the risk of inter-religion conflict is on the rise.

GALLAGHER: The pope's lecture was a call for genuine dialogue among cultures and religions of the world. A dialogue, but not the one he wanted, has certainly started.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: So Delia, how much more fall-out do you think there will be from this?

GALLAGHER: Well, I think there are two important things to look out for, in terms of where we go from here. One is what is going to be the Iman's reactions and the Muslim worlds' reactions. Today is their holy day and we'll see tomorrow and this weekend whether they are going to sort of fan the flames of this or if they are going to have a different sort of reaction. And the other is on Sunday when the Pope speaks from his window on St. Peter's Square, as he does every week, and see if he addresses this question again and in what way he does so, which I expect he will.

ZAHN: Delia Gallagher, of course some people are trying to see if he'll apologize himself and not just through a spokesperson. So we'll be waiting for that as well. Thank you.

Joining me now Imam Feisel Adbul Rauf. He is the founder and CEO of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. Good of you to join us tonight.

So, what is it that you would encourage your followers to do in reaction to what the Pope said? Will you fan the flames of this?

IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUF, AMER. SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT: Well, I mean, that's the last thing we wish to do. I mean the history is replete with religious violence and with insults across the divide between different religions and what we need today more than ever are bridge building efforts and I and Cardinal McCarrick of Washington have been at the forefront of many inter-faith activities and initiatives between Muslims and Catholics.

ZAHN: But in a time when you're trying to broaden acceptance of each other's faith, the United States is at war in mostly Muslim countries.

RAUF: Indeed.

ZAHN: What does it say to you that this pope would use these very specific words at this time?

RAUF: This is deeply troubling to the Muslim world. There's no doubt about it, Paula. The Muslim world is very concerned that the war on terror is the war on Islam and perceives it as such. And it's extremely sensitive and fearful of things which will exacerbate and accentuate the divide.

ZAHN: Do they see this as a war on Islam.

RAUF: Many people in the Islam world do see the war on terror as a war on Islam.

ZAHN: But even what the Pope has said is a reflection of that.

RAUF: What the Pope has said actually fans that sentiment and aggravates that sentiment. But the issue here is, what is a deeply concerning, is that the Pope and all religious leaders should demonstrate an understanding of true Islam. Islam is the faith of one-fifth of humanity, over 1.2 billion human beings worldwide believe in Islam. Islam is a religion that deeply addresses the issues of the existential meaning and reality.

There are many things which are similar to Christianity and Judaism. We are actually very close to each other. And therefore the Pope needs to exhibit an understanding of true Islam. But when the Pope exhibits a lack of understanding then it causes really great concern.

ZAHN: Well, we will continue to follow this very closely this weekend.

RAUF: As we all will be, thank you.

ZAHN: Thank you so much for your time.

We're going to continue our top story coverage in just a bit. But first let's go straight back to Melissa for more of our countdown, Melissa.

LONG: And Paula, number four is a story that we've just heard about in great detail, the growing controversy about Pope Benedict's remarks about the Prophet Mohammed and Islam.

And number three tonight, in Georgia today Dentist Barton Corbin pleaded guilty to killing his wife in 2004 and his girlfriend 14 years earlier, when he was in dental school. Interestingly, both women died of single gunshot wounds and in both cases the women's death initially had been declared suicide. The 42-year-old has now been sentenced to life in prison.

ZAHN: Horrible story. Melissa, thanks.

We're going to have a pair of top stories in popular culture tonight. Coming up what is behind supermodel Kate Moss's comeback in spite of the scandals, like doing Cocaine, that many folks thought would end her career and then you remember the old slogan, you can't be too rich or too thin, well apparently half of that is no longer true. You wouldn't know it from this picture, though.


ZAHN: Our top story of pop culture comes at the end of a very exciting week here in New York. Fashion Week is wrapping up tonight with designers and models from all over the world showing off-Spring fashions. That's right, they're ahead of season their.

One model in particular is causing a stir again this year. Kate Moss, the runway icon whose tumble from the top last year because of a cocaine scandal, stunned the fashion world. Well, in an instant it looked as if here supermodel career had crashed, ah, but that was so last year as entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm no strange to shame. I've got little to blame.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kate Moss is perhaps among the most photographed women in the world, known for her personal style, her waifish physique and for popularizing a look that was once known as heroin chic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she is absolutely gorgeous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Millions of girls across this country and the world want to emulate Kate.

ANDERSON: On the street, in fashion spreads, magazine covers and in ads everywhere this Fall Kate Moss has launched a Hollywood-sized comeback.

This is the same model who just last Fall found herself in one ugly real life snapshot.

Last September this picture of Moss allegedly snorting a white powder was flashed on the front page of Britain's "Daily Mirror." It spread like wild fire across websites like and tabloids soon crowned here Cocaine Kate.

Within day as parade of companies dropped her from their ads. Retailer H&M called the campaign with the model, quote, inconsistent with H&M's clear disassociation of drugs.

Others like Chanel and Cosmetics brand Rimmel said they were reviewing her contract and Burberry deemed it inappropriate to go ahead with a planned campaign. Without going into details Moss issued a statement, apologizing to everyone she had let down with her behavior. Then she reportedly checked into rehab.

Many predicted the scandal would end Moss's nearly 20-year long modeling career.

But just one year later Burberry and Rimmel are back and they are joined by 12 other companies wanting Moss to pitch their products.

Virgin Mobil is just one of Moss's 14 advertising deals this is season, the most she has ever had at one time, according to her spokesman, who declined to comment further.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone in America loves a great makeover.

ANDERSON: Indeed. In the year before the picture surfaced Moss made an estimated $5 million. Her estimated income this year approximately $17-20 million, more than three times her pre-scandal pay.

DR. JANICE CRAUSE, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: It's an unfortunate message sent to young people, and I think it's very unfortunate that her career did take off instead of going into a nosedive after this episode. ANDERSON: But fashion and advertising execs don't seem to have a problem with Moss' troubled past.

MARY ALICE STEPHENSON, FASHION EDITOR, "BAZAAR": Kate, since the very beginning of the career, has been the bad girl. So when it happened, was I surprised? No.

ANDERSON: Neither was Olivier Cassegrain, of French luxury brand Longchamp.

OLIVIER CASSEGRAIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LONGCHAMP: It was a rumor for many years. And the picture was basically not that much important. And we decided that it's none of our business.

ANDERSON: Longchamp signed Moss shortly after she returned from rehab.

In her newest campaign, Moss appears in a five-minute Internet ad for Agent Provocateur lingerie.

SERENA REES, OWNER, AGENT PROVOCATEUR: Her professional life and her personal life are completely separate things. She's amazing at her job, and she looks amazing in underwear.

ANDERSON: A sentiment apparently shared by many. The company's Web site crashed from record hits the day after Moss made her racy debut.

Brooke Anderson, CNN.


ZAHN: And prosecutors in England, where the Kate Moss drug allegations surfaced in the beginning, decided against charging her for lack of evidence. However, her boyfriend, Pete Doherty, was also caught up in the scandal. He was arrested again last month, again on drug charges.

Well, trends in pop culture come and go, but one that's been around since the '60s finally starts to fade. That's a top story tonight. Coming up, why some cities are banning fashion models who seem impossibly thin.


ZAHN: We return to another top story in pop culture. The storm sweeping the fashion word over today's waif-like superthin models. There are growing complaint that they are an unhealthy image for young women, and this week, officials in Madrid actually took the radical step of banning models they say are too thin. And London's fashion week is taking heat for not banning them. And today, the mayor of Milan, Italy said she may ban them when fashion week begins on Monday. Could it be that the trend that began with Twiggy way back in the '60s is no longer accepted? Well, here is Alessio Vinci.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALESSIO VINCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Madrid ban is not because designers have decided that thin is no longer in, but because organizers want to promote healthier models, saying some put themselves through ridiculous diets to secure top modeling jobs.

So how do Madrid officials define too skinny? By something called the body mass index, a calculation that factors in both height and weight.

And just who would they ban? Well, the average American woman is 5'4 and weighs 164 pounds. If she shrank by 60 pounds and weighed anywhere under 105, she wouldn't be allowed to model in Madrid.

CUCA SOLANA, DIRECTOR, MADRID CATWALK: I certainly wish and hope that for the good of all these youngsters, there's a step that (inaudible) has taken will be followed by others.

VINCI: In Milan, arguably the fashion capital of the world, where even on a rainy day people manage to look fabulous, the ban seems to merit at least some consideration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These models make other women to go on diets and to go on treatments and other stuff just to look like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They look skeletal, you know.

VINCI (on camera): They look like a skeleton.

Do you think it should be regulated?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. My answer is yes.

VINCI: Here in Milan, fashion week kicks off in just a few days, but the mayor says that banning models who are too skinny would be just the last resort. She wants to open a frank discussion between fashion designers and modeling agents, saying that promoting unhealthy looking girls is playing dangerous.

(voice-over): Almost every model we met here on a recent visit would be banned in Madrid, too thin. And in fact, the head of this Milanese modeling agency says if the ban were widespread, 80 percent of his clients worldwide, more than 600 girls, would be out of work.

PIERO PIAZZI, DIRECTOR, MODELING AGENCY: Rules (ph) is a big word, you know. They is so much rumor about these things, which is correct, which is fine. But don't make it less than make it too much. Because the designer, they know what they want.

VINCI: But those officials in Madrid do have a point. Most of the models we spoke with have a story to tell about crazy diets and the pressure they are under to be extra thin.

ROSANA SOUZA, MODEL: I have to go the gym like every day and...


SOUZA: I was feeling not skinny enough. I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we're going to start the fashion week (inaudible), so I was like pushing myself to lost weight so much.

VINCI: Inna, 25, from Russia, would just squeak by Madrid's limits.

INNA MEREMERENKO, MODEL: I have one friend, and she's now 18, and what she do before -- during fashion week, and she eat only two apples during the day, and forget -- and when she go out, because during this week, there's always some party, and she drink one whiskey, nothing else.

VINCI: There are of course exceptions.

(on camera): So to prove that actually molds do eat, you brought some cannolis.

EVA RICCOBONO, MODEL: Yes. Because I come from Sicily. So better than this, you cannot found.

VINCI (voice-over): Eva Riccobono has worked for the likes of Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.

(on camera): You are a very successful model and you are eating a cannoli. Not very many models do this, do they?

RICCOBONO: No. But it's important for me. To enjoy a full life, we have to eat. And maybe if you get a little bit fat, it's better if you go to the gym. It's much more healthy for your body, for your mind, for other things. But don't eat, it's not human for me.

VINCI (voice-over): With young girls around the world looking up to runway models as role models, maybe someday thin will no longer be in.

Alessio Vinci, CNN, Milan.


ZAHN: So does this happen to be the sign of a new definition of beauty? Let's ask our top story fashion panel tonight. Emme, the supermodel and designer, who also works to raise awareness about women's eating disorders, and Mary Alice Stephenson, contributing fashion editor for "Harper's Bazaar" magazine. Good to see both of you.

So what do you think of this ban that Spain has on thin models?

EMME, MODEL: I think it's time to start talking about this. Fashion runway is no longer just on the runway, with the fashion elite going and watching, and only contained within the four walls of that runway. There's multiple channels of distribution, where the women who are wearing the clothes are being seen by young people on the Internet, in all magazine venues, in so many different places now. And I think that there needs to be kind of a social responsibility as to what image of beauty are we projecting? And maybe the designers are not even thinking about this at this time, but I think we're getting to a place of change, where there's a lot of change in the environment. We might need to change the image.

ZAHN: When you hear that one of these models just eats two apples a day to fit into these clothes she's supposed to show off, it really makes you wonder about the level of responsibility. You'd think magazines like yours would follow suit. Would they start showing 160- and 175-pound women in their...

EMME: Is it the weight or is it the shape that you're in? It's the healthy shape that you're in that I think that what we're talking about, right?

STEPHENSON: Well Harper's Bazaar is all for healthy women. We had a pregnant Britney Spears on our cover. Vogue, American Vogue, obviously does the shape issue. We're all for healthy women, curvy women but what we're forgetting is the runway and glamour, absolutely. And what we're forgetting is the runway really, the star is the clothes. And unfortunately the clothes look very good on super-skinny girls because the hanger factor and designers are designing clothes for the runway very, very small.

EMME: It's a different day though now, isn't it? It's no longer.

STEPHENSON: Look at a designer like Michael Course (ph). He sends down clothes on the runway, but then he also has Jessica Simpson wearing his clothes. He also has a pregnant Heidi Klum wearing his clothes.

ZAHN: Let's come back to another waif-like girl at that is Kate Moss, who has made this dramatic comeback. What kind of a message does that send to young women out there where this woman who was caught up in this cocaine scandal now is making, what does she do, quintuple her salary.

EMME: Seventeen million or so.

ZAHN: What does that say?

EMME: It's kind of a shock. Once again the people, the parents that are sitting around those decision making tables really have got to ask themselves, if they have a child, a teenager, is this person the right spokesperson? And yes, she is a very good model at what she does, but her personal life has crossed over. It's almost like a journalist crossing the threshold or a doctor. Her personal life has crossed over.

ZAHN: What does that say that your industry has embraced this woman and grown her career and made her very, very rich?

STEPHENSON: Yes, but it's the consumers that are demanding. They love Kate. They are saying we want Kate. We want Kate. Listen we all know America is the makeover capital of the world. EMME: Everyone likes the makeover, but --

STEPHENSON: She admitted she did wrong. It's like working with an academy award winning actress or Olympic athlete. We all hope Kate stays healthy. I think with her fame comes responsibility. I do think that if she falls off the wagon again, that's it.

ZAHN: All right you two. We got to leave it there.


EMME: OK, diversity is where it is at. That's all I have to say.

ZAHN: Thank you both.

Let's go straight back to Melissa for the last part of our countdown, Melissa.

LONG: Paula, thank you. A lot of people are talking about the story that's number two on the list. That's the mysterious death of Anna Nicole Smith's son in the Bahamas. Local officials say Smith can bring in a private pathologist to perform a second autopsy. Smith said she found her 20-year-old son Daniel dead in her hospital room Sunday three days after she gave birth to a daughter.

And number, the 19-state E. Coli outbreak that's been linked to bagged fresh Spinach. One person has died, 90 others reportedly sick. The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat the fresh bagged Spinach. And if anybody has any questions about this go to our website, We have a health library that explains how E. Coli spreads and how you can protect yourself.

ZAHN: All right, thanks Melissa. We're going to take a quick Biz Break.


ZAHN: Still ahead, an update from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the hours breaking news that contaminated Spinach that has killed one person and made nearly 100 people sick all over the country.

Then coming up at the top of the hour on "LARRY KING LIVE," you don't want to miss this reunion, Joan Collins, Linda Evans, on their days as battling divas on the hit show "Dynasty." We'll be back.


ZAHN: Before we go tonight our one last update on the breaking news of our top story, a nationwide recall of one company's fresh Spinach products because of an E. Coli bacteria outbreak that is still spreading all over the country, 19 states involved in all.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is standing by at the CNN Center with the very latest. Here's what I want to know, does this bacteria seem to effect organic produce more than non-organic? GUPTA: It's so interesting because this is an organic farm that we're talking about. A lot of people ask about the lack of pesticides and how that might influence this bacteria. In fact, it really doesn't make a difference whether you use pesticides or not.

An organic farm versus a conventional farm wouldn't make a difference. But we asked an expert about this Paula and they say because manure, this is kind of gross here, but manure is more so used in an organic farm, that is where this bacteria likes to reside. So it could have had a little bit more of increase on an organic farm versus a conventional farm for that reason, not because of the lack of pesticides.

ZAHN: The feds are really nervous about this outbreak. How scary are the numbers to you?

GUPTA: You know, I'm pretty concerned about this. I have to tell you Paula, just because the numbers have increased dramatically. In part that's because they are watching your coverage and they're saying well gosh, maybe that's me and they are going and reporting themselves to the hospital. That's in part why the numbers are increasing, but they are also increasing because more and more people are actually getting sick.

Also if you look at the 94 cases, about 14 of them have a pretty significant complication of this particular bacterial infection. It's a complication that affects the Kidneys. It is typically a rare complication. But here it is 14 out of 94 people, which is about 15 percent. That's something I'm going to keep an eye on as well because I think that speaks to just how bad a bacteria we're talking about here.

ZAHN: Now the interesting thing about this is they still haven't been able to find where this Spinach was affected, right? All of this is being based on what people in hospitals have told investigators, at least linking it to this farm in California?

GUPTA: That's right. I mean, they know that it comes from a specific distributor, a specific place in northern California. But you're right, you know, this is sort of like a true epidemiology investigation. They literally go to all these people who have gotten sick and said tell us what you ate. And then a lot of people said Spinach and then they have been able to hone down specifically on this type of Spinach from this particular manufacturer.

ZAHN: Once again, we thank you doctor. We remind everybody, when you're eating stay away from that bagged, prepackaged Spinach until the government says it's OK. That's it for all of us tonight. Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you have a really good weekend.


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