Sunday, December 30, 2007


Is Corporate Agribusiness Killing Us?

A new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), once found only in pigs, now accounts for more than 20 percent of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands.The heavy use of antibiotics in industrialized livestock operations can account for resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. The new strain of MRSA, known as NT-MRSA, has so far primarily affected pig farmers and cattle farmers, and regions of the Netherlands with high densities of pig and cattle farms. The new strain has a high hospitalization rate, and can make people severely ill.The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that 70 percent of all the antibiotics used in the United States are used as livestock feed additives. The United States does not systematically test pigs, cattle, and other food animals for MRSA, despite almost 100,000 annual MRSA infections in the United States, of which almost a fifth are fatal.
Organic Consumers Association December 6, 2007

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