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Monday, February 06, 2012

The Scary Danger Of Meat (Even For Those Who Don't Eat It)

The government has rolled over once again for Big Meat and we may be in more danger from antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

So far, 2012 is bringing bad news for people who don't want "free antibiotics" in their food.

Antibiotics are routinely given to livestock on factory farms to make them gain weight with less feed and keep them from getting sick in confinement conditions. But the daily dosing, at the same time it lowers feed needs, lowers drug effectiveness and produces antibiotic resistant bacteria or super bugs that can be deadly to people.

This month, researchers found 230 out of 395 pork cuts bought in US stores were contaminated with a super bug called MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Worse--there were "no statistically significant differences" between "conventionally raised swine and swine raised without antibiotics," reported the researchers.

Why would meat labeled "raised without antibiotics" be as full of super bugs as conventional and factory farmed meat? It can be contaminated with MRSA at the farm, by slaughterhouse workers who carry MRSA or by other meat, if processing equipment is not "cleaned out between runs of certified organic and non-certified organic meats," say the researchers. A 2009 study of swine workers in Iowa and Illinois found that almost half carried MRSA.

And last month, the FDA scrapped its three-decade-long effort to regulate the use of the popular human antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in livestock. While the FDA says in the announcement that it "remains concerned about the issue of antimicrobial resistance," it also says "contested, formal withdrawal proceedings" consume too much of its time and money. For example, withdrawing nitrofurans from livestock use took 20 years, DES (diethylstilbestrol) took seven years and enrofloxacin took five years and cost $3.3 million, says the agency. Hey, we're just the government that makes the laws and enforces them. They're Big Meat!



Anonymous said...

Whattaya bet PETA is behind this bullcrap.

Sherry said...

This is all very true and no PETA is not behind it. All factory farmed animals are kept on antibiotics growth hormones and meat is actually very bad for us in the quantities we as a nation consume. Years ago we had a more balanced diet with small amounts of meat and large amounts of fruit vegetables and grain. This has changed drastically and the scale has flipped to the opposite where we eat large amounts of meat and less of everything else. Not only are we now consuming mass snouts of antibiotics and hormones meat is one of the leading causes of obesity and heart disease. If we don't stop this we are setting ourselves up for a pandemic that we will be powerless against.

Anonymous said...

8:09, agreed. If you want meat, support small cattle growers who don't put toxins into their beef.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Sherry and 8:38 said it! The meat sold in grocery stores is not fit to eat. Support not only small cattle growers but also small poultry growers.
My New Years resolution was to not feed my family that junk anymore. Factory farmed meat is not only gross it tastes horrible also. I've been able to find a few small butcher shops locally and the meat sold in them is a much better quality and tastes so much better with out all the chemicals injected into it.