How long until we seriously shoot ourselves in the foot?

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How long until we seriously shoot ourselves in the foot?

There's nothing safe about meat.

There's nothing safe about meat.

The meat industry is gambling with human lives by using antibiotics in livestock.

The unfortunate fact is that on today’s intensive farming operations, antibiotics are necessary to keep the animals from all getting sick and dying. The only problem is that bacteria mutate rapidly and antibiotic resistant strains pop up here and there.

In an article from Grist, “Antibiotic-resistant salmonella burgers, with a side of flame retardants“, we learn of a recall of tainted meat: “In Colorado, 14 people have fallen ill from hamburger meat tainted with antibiotic-resistent salmonella”.

466,236 pounds of meat were recalled.

The article goes on to describe in detail the rampant antibiotic use in livestock production, and how it is threatening human health.

So are we any safer in Canada? Probably not. Antibiotics are used in livestock in Canada as well, and MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph infections) has been found on pig farms in Canada. In fact, the Canadian beef industry has been lobbying to allow for the import of unregulated antibiotics from the United States – with no thought as to the potential for creating antibiotic resistance bacteria through overuse of the antibiotics.

We need to change our food system before it kills us all.


4 Comments

Meredith

July 26, 2009 at 1:12 am

Once again I’m glad I’ve been a vegetarian since 1993.

Johnathan

July 26, 2009 at 10:37 am

How much of that 466,236 pounds of meat was eaten by the time the recall took place? Almost all of it, I’d bet. I sure am glad I don’t eat meat!

MRSA scares the bejeezus out of me | Liberation BC blog

February 5, 2010 at 9:13 am

[…] I’ve written about MRSA before, but I just read about a new pair of reports that have come out with links between animals and humans and the spread of MRSA. One of the reports is about 3 patients in Spain who have been identified as having that country’s first cases of humans contracting “pig MRSA” (ST398): The researchers spotted these particular isolates (out of 44 analyzed at the two hospitals in 2006) because they were resistant to tetracycline. Tetracycline resistance is not common among community strains of MRSA, because the drug isn’t the first-line choice for skin and soft-tissue infections; and when it is given, it’s usually for a short course, so the drug does not exert much selection pressure on the bug. But tetracycline is a very common animal antibiotic, and tetracycline resistance is a hallmark of ST398; it is one of the factors that led the Dutch researchers who first identified the strain to take a second look at the bug. […]

CBS report on antibiotic use | Liberation BC blog

February 13, 2010 at 10:35 pm

[…] situation in Canada is quite likely very similar, since our agricultural systems are virtually identical to the United […]

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