Bad bugs the new white meat?

As reported by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times recently (Sun, Mar 15th, "Pathogens in Our Pork), hog farms are now infected with the dangerous bug known as MRSA (pronounced "Mersa"). As estimated by the University of Minnesota, up to 39 percent of pigs on hog farms harbor the superbugs which are resistant to almost all forms of antibiotics. (More people die from MRSA in the United States than from HIV.)

Why? Same reason as why doc's give out prescriptions to treat viral infections like colds and ear infections: mis-use of antibiotics. As Kristof writes, more antibiotics are given to livestock in North Carolina alone than goes to treat the entire U.S. population.

This is all due to the tremendous leverage that the agribusinesses have on Washington politicoes. The citizenry is being plowed under for the sake of increasing the yield of hog, cow and chicken farmers.

It's as if the Congress is doing as Marie Antoinette, saying instead, "Let them eat pork!" I wonder how the average North Carolina congressman/congresswoman would feel if we rubbed a pork pie in their faces? Penicillin anyone?


Pat Gardiner said…
I have spent almost decade on this disaster, day after day: there at the beginning, with pigs and in pig country when the horror story started. We decided on a self-sufficient lifestyle and walked into a nightmare.

There is little doubt that MRSA in pigs has been leaking into the hospitals for some years.

There was a nasty mutation to a porcine circovirus in Britain in 1999 which caused an epidemic that required huge quantities of antibiotics to handle the consequences.

MRSA in pigs was the result, usually the ST398 strain.

The Dutch picked up the problem about four years ago and commendably make everything they knew public.

Both circovirus and MRSA epidemics have now travelled the world along with accompanying cover-ups. It is quite a nasty situation - now coming to light in the USA.

MRSA st398, mutated circovirus and various other unpleasant zoonotic diseases have now reached American pig farms.

The people exposing the scandal in the US are to be commended.

I have extensive records available to anyone researching the link and can often answer general questions quickly and accurately.

Pat Gardiner
Release the results of testing British pigs for MRSA and C.Diff now! and
Persnickety said…
Are we left to believe that the government over-seers did not see this coming? Far from it. This is nothing less than criminal and those in charge of inspection regulation should be prosecuted for putting the people's health at risk.

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