Home

Superbugs in Factory-farmed Meats

Leave a comment

From: Whole Food USA: link

An AP article headlined Pressure Rises to Stop Antibiotics in Agriculture made the front page today that will help to educate consumers about the type of factory-farm meat they are eating. With the heavy use of antibiotics, the chickens, pigs and cows develop dangerous organisms in and on their infection-suppressed carcasses and end up on the dinner plate. This has long known been a reason for creation of superbugs and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria , but it is good to see this information is going more mainstream; and, all the more reason to eat naturally raised beef, chickens, pork and other meats.

The article does not cover the hazards of genetically-engineered feed or cloned animals, but ironically the story is from show-me-state town of Frankenstein, Missouri. Here are some excerpts:

Researchers say the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals has led to a plague of drug-resistant infections that killed more than 65,000 people in the U.S. last year — more than prostate and breast cancer combined. And in a nation that used about 35 million pounds of antibiotics last year, 70 percent of the drugs went to pigs, chickens and cows. Worldwide, it’s 50 percent. Read more

Ethicureans post The New USDA guidelines

Leave a comment

January 22, 2009   (this is from early in the year but quite relevant now)

NATURALLY RAISED.
smokingchicken.jpgIf you were told an animal was “naturally raised,” what would you imagine that meant? Is it evidence that they wandered a field? Felt the touch of sunlight? Ate their normal diet? Well, no. At least, that’s not what it means if you see “naturally raised” on a package of meat. The USDA released their guidelines for the marketing term this week. Grass, sunlight, and open space don’t enter into it. Rather, animals are “naturally raised” if they “have been raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control), and have never been fed animal by-products.”

Got that? No growth promotants or antibiotics — except, of course, for ionophores used as coccidiostats — or eating the ground-up remains of other animals. That’s what counts as a natural upbringing in our food production system. We have not medically accelerated your growth nor made you into an inadvertent cannibal nor crammed you into such unhealthful conditions that you needed to be pumped full of antibiotics to stay alive.

The problem with this label is not specifically how the animals are raised. Excising antibiotics and growth promotants from their diet is a good thing. The problem is what the USDA’s new guidelines say about, well, the USDA. These guidelines are a simple act of collusion with the marketing teams in the livestock industry. When a consumer sees “naturally raised,” they almost certainly don’t say to themselves, “Terrific! This chicken was raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control), and has never been fed animal by-products!” The implication of “naturally raised” is that the chicken lived the natural life of a chicken, not the life of a widget. But USDA has defined it as living the life of a widget, just not a particularly heavily medicated widget. And why have naturally raised” at all? The shrinkwrap enclosing a chicken breast has room for “No growth hormones or antibiotics!” They’re using “naturally raised” because it’s more efficiently misleading to consumers who want to do good by eating well, and the USDA is just gave its seal of approval to the practice.

See the Ethicureans for more.

Image used under a CC license from NukeIt1.

NOSB recommending untested genetically engineered vaccines

Leave a comment

Jackass Alert # 6:  Livestock Committee of the National Organic Standards Board

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

getimageThe Livestock Committee of the National Organic Standards Board is recommending that genetically engineered vaccines be allowed in organic livestock production, with no review of the vaccines to determine if they meet evaluation criteria established in the Organic Foods Production Act.

In another round of what is coming to be viewed as absolute insanity in the wild world of genetically mutated agriculture, this “board” has now decided that it does not have to meet criteria for testing the efficacy or safety of,  genetically mutated vaccines to be used in livestock. 

We all need to remember that any vaccine, any growth hormone or antibiotic, remains in the meat even after processing.  These toxic concoctions are also present in the urine and feces of animals subjected to their use and as such, have rendered manure unfit as a fertilizer (this after thousands of years of use as the best fertilizer).  The manure produce by animals infected with these toxic chemicals is then leached into soil and water as the now, hazardous, waste breaks down.

And they still intend to call this “organic”?     Read the September 2009 report.

The NOSB will consider the issue when it meets Nov. 3-5, 2009, in Washington DC. Comments must be submitted by Oct. 19.

Here is a link for submitting comments:

http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480a1f227

Antibiotics pose concern for Minn. ethanol producers

Leave a comment

                                                                           The Bismark Tribune                                                                                                   

04-05-2009: news-state            

Antibiotics pose concern for Minn. ethanol producers

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) – Ethanol’s main by-product, which is sold as livestock feed, has raised potential food safety concerns.

Several studies have linked the byproduct, known as distillers grain, to elevated rates of E. coli in cattle. And now, distillers grain is facing further scrutiny because the Food and Drug Administration has found that it often contains antibiotics left over from making ethanol.

Ethanol production relies on enzymes, yeast and sugar to convert corn into fuel. And just as the wrong bacteria in the body can sicken people, it can also cause a variety of ailments in a batch of ethanol.

Mark von Keitz with the University of Minnesota’s Biotechnology Institute said in ethanol production, the main enemy is a bacterial bug that makes lactic acid.

“What these organisms do is they also compete with the yeast for the sugar,” said von Keitz. “But instead of making alcohol, they make primarily lactic acid.”

If enough of the bacteria are present, von Keitz said fermentation can be ruined.

“It gets acidified to the point that the yeast is no longer able to properly produce ethanol, and then you’re stuck with a big batch of corn mash,” said von Keitz.

If that happens, there’s no ethanol and no profit. To prevent the problem, producers rely on medicine.

“What people operating these plants are trying to do is to keep these lactic acid bacteria in check,” said von Keitz. “And one way of doing that is with the help of antibiotics.”

Ethanol producers use penicillin and a popular antibiotic called virginiamycin to kill bacteria. And that raises two potential concerns.

One is that these treatments might promote the growth of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. The development of these “superbugs” is a major concern in health care because they reduce the effectiveness of medicines.

Von Keitz found some bacteria that were, in fact, resistant when he sampled bacteria at four Midwest ethanol plants several years ago.

The second concern is that the antibiotics could find their way to humans through the food chain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken a mostly hands-off approach to the use of antibiotics in the ethanol industry. But amid increasing concerns over food safety in recent years, the agency is taking a closer look.

“A year ago we put a survey out to the FDA field people to collect samples of those distillers grains, and start analyzing for antibiotic residues,” said Linda Benjamin, a chemist with the FDA’s Center of Veterinary Medicine.

Samples were requested from 60 ethanol plants, including some in Minnesota. She said testing showed that many contained antibiotics, mainly four types.

“Penicillin, virginiamycin, erythromycin and tylosin,” said Benjamin.

At this point the story gets murky. Benjamin won’t say if any of the antibiotics exceeded federal guidelines.

Those guidelines are part of the problem; they’re a patchwork and far from definitive on what levels of antibiotics in distillers grain are safe.

If the FDA decides to restrict antibiotics in the ethanol industry, it could have far-reaching consequences.

Distillers grain is a major source of low-cost livestock feed. Any restrictions on its sale and use as feed will hurt the profit-scarce ethanol industry and the livestock farmers who rely on it.

Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: