Warning Sign


« Brain food from the heartland

by Louie b. Free   | 349 entries


check out the date on this :


Overuse of antibiotics in farm animals is the focus of government health



Controlling Bacteria on the Farm

Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor


To improve meat safety, the federal government for years has allowed
ranchers and farmers to feed antibiotics to beef, cattle, and poultry to
control bacteria deemed harmful.

That practice, however, is coming under increasing criticism from some
consumer groups and public-health organizations. Overreliance on
antibiotics down on the farm, they say, may be contributing to a larger
public-health problem: the excessive use of antibiotics in medicine and
consumer products in general.

The trend, they say, is giving rise to bacteria that resist the
antibiotics used to treat humans for the diseases associated with the
microscopic organisms. Some of these antibiotics also are used as food
and water additives to ward off illness and boost the meat yield in

"In certain cases, there are fewer and fewer antimicrobials available to
treat serious diseases in humans," says Sharon Thompson, an associate
director in the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary
Medicine in Rockville, Md...


and this :

The perils of animal antibiotics

John Fauber
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 4, 2001

If you bought a chicken at the grocery store this week, it's almost a sure thing it had been fed antibiotics during its lifetime.

In fact, the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals has become so widespread that public health advocates fear it is contributing to the creation of new super strains of drug-resistant diseases that are harmful or deadly to people.

Now, a growing contingent of consumer groups, physicians and infectious disease experts is saying the widespread use of antibiotics in healthy animals - to promote growth or to prevent disease - must be curtailed.

They point to figures estimating that animals get 20 million pounds a year of antibiotics, humans only 3 million pounds.

With the reports last month in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that antibiotic-resistant salmonella bacteria were found in supermarket chicken and ground meat samples, these advocates have turned up the volume on demands that the practice - a byproduct of America's increasingly large-scale corporate farming culture - be curtailed.

Last week, a coalition of groups launched "Keep Antibiotics Working: The Campaign to End Antibiotic Overuse."

"Recent concerns about bioterrorism underscore the importance of having powerful, effective antibiotics available to treat human disease," said David Wallinga, a Minneapolis physician and director of the antibiotic resistance project at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade.

No action in 30 years

For more than 30 years, scientists have known that the large-scale use of antibiotics in healthy farm animals might be creating antibiotic-resistant bugs. But federal health officials have yet to ban any animal antibiotic because of peril it causes humans...



On a world scale, the use of antibiotics as animal growth promoters differs dramatically. Sweden now makes no use of antibiotics for growth promotion purposes; the USA uses a wide range of antibiotics, including some considered to be "med cally important". The following information is taken from the Report of the Joint Expert Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (JETACAR, 1999) on the use of antibiotics in food producing animals. Pigs are exposed to the greatest range of growth promoters. In the USA, for example, pigs are exposed to _-lactam antibiotics, including penicillins, lincosamides and macrolides, including erythromycin and tetracyclines. All these groups have members that are used to treat infections in humans. Pigs in the USA are exposed to a range of other compounds intended for growth promotion. These include bacitracin, flavophospholipol, pleuromutilins, quinoxalines, virginiamycin and arsenical compounds. In the USA, compounds used as growth promoters for cattle include flavophospholipol and virginiamycin, both also used as growth promoters in poultry. Cattle are also exposed to ionophores such as monensin to promote growth. Poultry are given arsenical compounds.


and this very recently(11 March 09):


The late Tom Anderson, the family doctor in this little farm town in northwestern Indiana, at first was puzzled, then frightened.

He began seeing strange rashes on his patients, starting more than a year ago. They began as innocuous bumps — “pimples from hell,” he called them — and quickly became lesions as big as saucers, fiery red and agonizing to touch.

They could be anywhere, but were most common on the face, armpits, knees and buttocks. Dr. Anderson took cultures and sent them off to a lab, which reported that they were MRSA, or staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) sometimes arouses terrifying headlines as a “superbug” or “flesh-eating bacteria.” The best-known strain is found in hospitals, where it has been seen regularly since the 1990s, but more recently different strains also have been passed among high school and college athletes. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that by 2005, MRSA was killing more than 18,000 Americans a year, more than AIDS.

Dr. Anderson at first couldn’t figure out why he was seeing patient after patient with MRSA in a small Indiana town. And then he began to wonder about all the hog farms outside of town. Could the pigs be incubating and spreading the disease?

“Tom was very concerned with what he was seeing,” recalls his widow, Cindi Anderson. “Tom said he felt the MRSA was at phenomenal levels.”

By last fall, Dr. Anderson was ready to be a whistle-blower, and he agreed to welcome me on a reporting visit and go on the record with his suspicions. That was a bold move, for any insinuation that the hog industry harms public health was sure to outrage many neighbors.

So I made plans to come here and visit Dr. Anderson in his practice. And then, very abruptly, Dr. Anderson died at the age of 54.

There was no autopsy, but a blood test suggested a heart attack or aneurysm. Dr. Anderson had himself suffered at least three bouts of MRSA, and a Dutch journal has linked swine-carried MRSA to dangerous human heart inflammation.

The larger question is whether we as a nation have moved to a model of agriculture that produces cheap bacon but risks the health of all of us. And the evidence, while far from conclusive, is growing that the answer is yes.


and: ...according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, roughly 70 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to farm animals. That is estimated to be more than four times the amount of drugs used to treat human illness.

When you speak to the general public about antibiotic resistance, they almost always focus on doctors over-prescribing antibiotics and have absolutely no clue that the superbugs that put them and their children at risk have mostly to do with what ends up on their own dinner tables.

The reasons farm animals are given all these drugs are twofold: promote growth and prevent the obvious disease risks from the filth, stench and cramped conditions of factory farms.

As a result of this situation, many common bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and E. coli) have developed antibiotic resistance making them much more difficult to treat. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that MRSA causes more deaths annually in the U.S. than AIDS.


So, with our caring and concerned Democrat-controlled Government: WHAT,ME WORRY?

Yes, worried I have been and remain- I offer you this :


Pork producers are pushing back against suggestions from public interest groups that the flu virus popping up across the world may have been caused by factory farms in Mexico.


and this:


Pork producers lobby to relabel "swine flu"


from The Wall Street Journal :

  Pork Lobby Bristles at Swine Flu Label Agricultural groups, worried that the swine flu outbreak is scaring consumers away from eating pork, are successfully prodding the federal government...   

Washington Post : It was Day 7 of the great swine flu outbreak, and inside the eighth-floor conference room in a concrete hulk of an office building on Capitol Hill, the pork lobbyists were in crisis mode.


But,hey- regular listeners certainly heard us talk about former guest Jane Brody's NYTimes recent Science Times column: 

Paying a Price for Loving Red Meat


Jane lets us all in on what the meat industry doesn't want you to know-by choosing less meat you can reduce your risk of  some cancers. But when  industry lobbyists control too much of OUR government, or should I say-when OUR representatives choose to represent an industry's  financial  interests instead of our well-being---- in THIS case,DANGER LOOMS LARGE !


With HIV/AIDS, the intimate exchange of bodily fluids is necessary to contract the disease-but  when a disease 'goes airborne'- we're ALL at risk AND if that disease is antibiotic resistant, well, one more quote-THIS ONE from our own FDA -:

Unless antibiotic resistance problems are detected as they emerge, and actions are taken to contain them, the world could be faced with previously treatable diseases that have again become untreatable, as in the days before antibiotics were developed.


Warning sign, warning sign,


I see it but I pay it no mind.


Hear my voice, hear my voice,


Its saying something and I hope youre concentrating

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