Daily Archives: March 13, 2009

Do subclinical antibiotics in industrial pig feed breed flesh-eating disease?

Here’s a chilling story from a small town (Camden) in Indiana, which was sent our way by Gordon Watson of Home on the Range cowshare in Chilliwack, B.C. It seems the story is originally from the New York Times:

One of many industrial pig farms near Camden, Indiana. Photo by Nicholas D. Kristof, from the New York Times.

One of many industrial pig farms near Camden, Indiana. Photo by Nicholas D. Kristof, N.Y. Times.

Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health

CAMDEN, Indiana

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. Continue reading


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Neither raw nor pasteurized milk is unconditionally safe so why not let people make their own decisions — Angela Trimmer, Womenspost.ca

“Organic and raw food diets – the debate rages on as to whether these diets are healthy or merely healthier. Raw food supporter and producer, Michael Schmidt, has taken this diet debate to a legal level in the court proceedings dubbed the “Raw Milk Trial.”

LOLcat above from icanhazcheeseburger.com

LOLcat above from icanhazcheeseburger.com

Since 1991, the sale of raw milk directly to consumers has been prohibited in Canada under the Food and Drug Regulations. However, this didn’t stop Ontario farmer Michael Schmidt from selling it. For those who haven’t been paying attention to this case, here is the summary: Schmidt made a deal where his customers could own part of the cow; thus, acquire raw milk. In November 2006, under violation of the Milk Act, Schmidt’s farm was raided; his equipment seized; and he faced 20 charges related to illegally producing, storing and distributing raw milk. His fate has still not yet been decided, the final arguments have been postponed until May (for Schmidt) and June (for the prosecution).

Is all this to-do really necessary? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to drink raw milk at our own risk? We can procure raw meats and shellfish. I mean, no one’s being hauled off to court for selling carpaccio, oysters, or sushi are they? Consumers know the risks of consuming these foods. Heck, consumers of alcohol and tobacco certainly are aware of the risks – perhaps this part of the debate is better left out, the government would be deprived of their substantial SIN tax. Continue reading

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