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When Food Kills And Other Lies From Our Federal Government


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When Food Kills and other Lies from our Federal government

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.c...MR_AP_LO_MST_FB

 

June 11, 2011

 

When Food Kills

 

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

 

The deaths of 31 people in Europe from a little-known strainof E. coli have raised alarms worldwide, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Ourfood often betrays us.

 

 

Just a few days ago, a 2-year-old girl in Dryden, Va., diedin a hospital after suffering bloody diarrhea linked to another strain of E.coli. Her brother was also hospitalized but survived.

 

 

Every year in the United States, 325,000 people arehospitalized because of food-borne illnesses and 5,000 die, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s right: food kills one personevery two hours.

 

 

Yet while the terrorist attacks of 2001 led us to transformthe way we approach national security, the deaths of almost twice as manypeople annually have still not generated basic food-safety initiatives. We havean industrial farming system that is a marvel for producing cheap food, but itslobbyists block initiatives to make food safer.

 

 

Perhaps the most disgraceful aspect of our agriculturalsystem — I say this as an Oregon farmboy who once raised sheep, cattle and hogs— is the way antibiotics are recklessly stuffed into healthy animals to makethem grow faster.

 

 

The Food and Drug Administration reported recently that 80percent of antibiotics in the United States go to livestock, not humans. And 90percent of the livestock antibiotics are administered in their food or water,typically to healthy animals to keep them from getting sick when they areconfined in squalid and crowded conditions.

 

 

The single state of North Carolina uses more antibiotics forlivestock than the entire United States uses for humans.

 

This cavalier use of low-level antibiotics creates a perfectbreeding ground for antibiotic-resistant pathogens. The upshot is that ailmentscan become pretty much untreatable.

 

 

The Infectious Diseases Society of America, a professionalorganization of doctors, cites the case of Josh Nahum, a 27-year-old skydivinginstructor in Colorado. He developed a fever from bacteria that would notrespond to medication. The infection spread and caused tremendous pressure inhis skull.

 

Some of his brain was pushed into his spinal column,paralyzing him. He became a quadriplegic depending on a ventilator to breathe.Then, a couple of weeks later, he died.

 

 

There’s no reason to link Nahum’s case specifically toagricultural overuse, for antibiotic resistance has multiple causes that aredifficult to unravel. Doctors overprescribe them. Patients misuse them. Butlooking at numbers, by far the biggest element of overuse is agriculture.

 

 

We would never think of trying to keep our children healthyby adding antibiotics to school water fountains, because we know this wouldbreed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It’s unconscionable that Big Ag doessomething similar for livestock.

 

 

Louise Slaughter, the only microbiologist in the UnitedStates House of Representatives, has been fighting a lonely battle to curb thispractice — but industrial agricultural interests have always blocked herlegislation.

 

 

“These statistics tell the tale of an industry that isrampantly misusing antibiotics in an attempt to cover up filthy, unsanitaryliving conditions among animals,” Slaughter said. “As they feed antibiotics to animalsto keep them healthy, they are making our families sicker by spreading thesedeadly strains of bacteria.”

 

 

Vegetarians may think that they’re immune, but they’re not.E. coli originates in animals but can spill into water used to irrigatevegetables, contaminating them. The European E. coli outbreak apparently arosefrom bean sprouts grown on an organic farm in Germany.

 

 

One of the most common antibiotic-resistant pathogens isMRSA, which now kills more Americans annually than AIDS and adds hugely toAmerica’s medical costs. MRSA has many variants, and one of the more benignforms now is widespread in hog barns and among people who deal with hogs. Anarticle this year in a journal called Applied and Environmental Microbiologyreported that MRSA was found in 70 percent of hogs on one farm.

 

Another scholarly journal reported that MRSA was found in 45percent of employees working at hog farms. And the Centers for Disease Controlreported this April that this strain of bacteria has now been found in a workerat a day care center in Iowa.

 

 

Other countries are moving to ban the feeding of antibioticsto livestock. But in the United States, the agribusiness lobby still has a holdon Congress.

 

The European outbreak should shake people up. “It points tothe whole broken system,” notes Robert Martin of the Pew Environment Group.

 

We need more comprehensive inspections in the food system,more testing for additional strains of E. coli, and more public education(always wash your hands after touching raw meat, and don’t use the same cuttingboard for meat and vegetables). A great place to start reforms would be bybanning the feeding of antibiotics to healthy livestock.

 

 

Posted by:

 

Michael Komorn

 

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*Not about the story*

Why are all your posts have words that are together?

 

Ourfood often betrays us.
diedin a hospital
filthy, unsanitaryliving conditions

Most of the stories you post have stuff like this?

 

 

Anywho, This kinda makes me sick! I never knew that they did this crap...

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I recently saw a headline in another group, saying something about the FDA knew about carcinogenic something or other in chicken, said something about Arsenic. Everywhere seems to be a broken system, broken justice, broken education, healthcare, you name it, broken this and that, and it all boils down to one thing- $$$GREED$$$.

Our planet is dying, and so are we. All for greed. And people wonder why I'm cynical, depressed, and feel so HOPELESS.

 

For many decades, companies have been adding things to our food and beverages, air AND water too, that have altered our very DNA. We are mutants, all of us! No matter how hard we try to isolate ourselves from this madness, it gets into everything, like how the organic farm got contaminated. We ingest things we are unaware of that are altering our cells. No wonder so many are ill, no wonder so many are dying. The people who do these things don't realize the severity of the harm they do and they are not immune to it either. They'd rather profit on sickness than health. Yeah they claim to wanna keep their livestock healthy, but studies have shown that antibiotics being overused does cause problems. I remember a news story many yeas ago that reported about children getting more ear infections, repeatedly, due to the constant use of these drugs. They have their place, but like anything else, when overused, trouble soon follows. It's all about BALANCE.

 

Sb :(

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