The future of salad sales or even tourism to europe is uncertain, its likely the cucumber market will take years to recover after wild accusations. Equally will this see a shift in investment? This area of medicine could see a boost, its difficult to know. The decision to invest in a E.coli treatment opposed to another treatment could save or cost lives and that kind of decision can fall into the rhelm of economics. Economics is not just fiddling with graphs in a dusty room, the future of humanity relies of economics. its always been that way, we just didn't call it economics. Economics is philosophy, politics, psychology, maths, history, geography.. it touches all other subjects and in my opinion a good economist knows that.
I've found there is a rivalry between academic areas, stereotypically physicists look down their noses at psychologists who call themselves scientists, geographers don't like economists 'butting in on their subject' but after all all subjects cross over. If you want to a build a space shuttle you need everyone, you need the mathematician to calculate, you need plenty of physicists, it won't work with out your computer scientists and chemists. If you want to know if its worth while or how to get the resources to do it you need an economists or at least an economic climate that lets you built it; weather thats a firm after a profit of a communists government showing off! You need to know what space will do to people so thats your psychologists and sociologists, the list goes on and on.
Ideas should be put together, people should work together, thats all people and after all thats pretty much the reason the interest is so critical. Stagnation of ideas or worse, refusal to listen to others is what will be the down fall of everything!
Free communication and cooperation is key and the most important thing in economics should be ideas! You can't do anything to the factors of production with out enterprise, in what ever form it takes. A closed minded economists won't get far because as annoying as it may be, economics models break over and over again and every recession throws up a new wave of problems.
The E.coli outbreak might at first seem to fall into the rhelm of medicine but its clear its effects are far reaching.