Tag Archives: MRSA

What new pathogens are we creating?

We’ve probably all heard how development of the dreaded E.coli O157 has been credited to confined cattle feeding operations of the 80s, and that MRSA has been linked to pig CAFOs  in the midwest.

What other new and virulent pathogens will we yet breed as a “side-effect” from continuing farther with these same divorced-from-nature farming practices?

It’s anyone’s guess what shit will hit the fan when the recently introduced GMO alfalfa, for instance, starts being fed to cattle on a large scale? To quote from Ernst Schumacher (author of the book “Small is Beautiful”), “Finally we must say no, this technology is too violent.”

David E. Gumpert quoting Brigitte Ruthman, on The Compete Patient:

“As an experienced herdsman I can tell you that we never gave calves immunizations at birth…and three calves have fared well under similar circumstances here. But it was apparent something Titanic nibbled on after being let out in his second day of life, e coli or salmonella, got into his gut.

We never saw scours like this in Vermont in the 70s. We had scours that created a loose manure, and the calf could be easily corrected.

I saw this scour as something stronger. His ears flopped and he became listless within the hour it took to treat him. I only gave antibiotics when he showed symptoms. By then, the powerful bug had overtaken him. I understand now, after watching Titania, his half sister, what likely occurred. Continue reading

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SURPRISE — FDA reveals factory farms use a shitload of sub-clinical antibiotics

From Tom Philpott, writing for Grist.org:

Animals in factory farms get daily doses of antibiotics, both to keep them alive in their stressful, unsanitary conditions and to make them grow faster. What’s the annual volume of antibiotic use on factory farms? The question is a critical one, because the practice has given rise to a novel strain of antibiotic-resistant staph (MRSA), known as ST398, that’s widely present in our vast hog and chicken factories.

Well, federal regulators have for years ignored the question and refused to release estimates of just how much antibiotics the livestock industry burns through. But that ended yesterday, when the FDA released its first-ever report on the topic. The answer: 29 million pounds in 2009. According to ace public-health reporter Maryn McKenna, that’s a shitload. (I’m paraphrasing her.) Continue reading

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