Are you eating ‘superbugs?’ drug-resistant bacteria found at alarming rates on meat in stores

April 16, 2013HEALTHThere is a lot of talk these days about how feeding antibiotics to livestock is resulting in ‘superbugs’ – bacteria resistant to drug treatment in humans and animals. But do consumers really need to be concerned about eating meat they buy at the grocery stores? A new report released today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says, yes. The group analyzed 2011 data recently released by the U.S. government and found 81 percent of ground turkey and 55 percent of ground beef sold in supermarkets carried antibiotic-resistant strands of salmonella and Campylobacter. Together these bacteria cause 3.6 million cases of food poisoning a year. More than half of all chicken sampled carried antibiotic-resistant E. coli. Almost 90 percent of all store bought meat also had signs of normal and resistant Enterococcus faecium – a bacteria that indicates the product came in contact with fecal matter at some point during or after processing. Even if the idea of a little diarrhea or a urinary tract infection does not faze you (both of which can be caused by E. coli), the problem is that as strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more commonplace in our lives, the less we are able to use the drugs to treat common human diseases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and 11 other government departments including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health reported in 2012: “Antimicrobial resistance (AR) is not a new phenomenon; however, the current magnitude of the problem and the speed with which new resistance phenotypes have emerged elevates the public health significance of this issue….Since their discovery, antimicrobials have been used extensively in livestock and poultry for the treatment, control, and/or prevention of animal diseases, as well as for production purposes… The impact of increases in resistant bacteria in food animals on the management of human infections is an ongoing concern as many classes of antimicrobials used in food-producing animals have analogues to human therapeutics and are therefore capable of selecting for similar resistance phenotypes. An estimated 8.9 billion animals a year are raised in confinement where cramped conditions, a lack of exercise (or fresh air), and high stress environment necessitate the use of antibiotics.  These animals are also fed “subtherapeutic” doses of the drugs in their feed to promote faster growth and to make them susceptible to the rampant diseases caused by jamming too many animals into one facility. Alternately, if you purchase organic meats or those raised without antibiotics, bacteria has not had the exposure to the drugs to develop resistance.  Less cramped conditions also mean less disease, and processing only a few animals at a time allows for more care and less contamination of meats. Several stores, like Whole Foods, have a great selection of meats raised without any antibiotics. Or, you could stop eating meat. –Forbes 
“Although no conclusive studies have been done regarding the health risks associated with this chemically-laden (antibiotic-rich) fleshly diet on the human immune system; we can’t help but wonder if this medi-dosed meat is a contributing factor to evolving microbial resistance and overall long-term decline in human immunological health.” –The Extinction Protocol, p. 237, 2009
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18 Responses to Are you eating ‘superbugs?’ drug-resistant bacteria found at alarming rates on meat in stores

  1. archie1954 says:

    Why can’t sides of beef and other meats be washed before being processed into different cuts?


    • Jay says:

      Because it’s IN the meat, not on it. Anything a plant or animal is “fed” it is in their system. Hence why many chemicals used will not wash off.


  2. Moco says:

    Cook your meat well. IT is a scare tactic for us not to eat meat which our bodies need to survive, the way the creator set it up.
    As long as man has been here on the planet, we have ate meat. These assholes are fearmongering you with more and more bullshit.


  3. LA says:

    Eat locally grown food. Grow your own or support small farmers. Eat less meat.


  4. noirfifre says:

    It is getting worst and worst 😦


  5. John says:

    This is why I am a vegan. When the rest of you start seeing massive infections, maybe you too will become a vegan. But, I doubt it, most meat eaters are addicted to meat.


    • Jay says:

      Grow your own–I take my food seriously enough to grow, harvest and process much of what we consume. Milk, meats, eggs, fruits and veggies. I know what fertilizers are used, and what the critters eat.
      And giving up meat is a personal decision, Religion tossed in the equitation just makes it complicated.


  6. Paul says:

    Reading this story killed my appetite. Perhaps I should go vegan. I am not kidding by the way.


  7. jenny says:

    Let’s live our lives cruelty free…as anyone can realize, now, the meat industry is full of poisons.
    Lets honor and respect other species…let them live….become a vegetarian!!…Your life will change..for the better, and you will feel healthier!!….Vegetarian for 30 years.


  8. Paul says:

    Thank you for the advice Alvin.




  9. fKevin says:

    Not all meat is created equal. Our agricultural system is very fragile, and good farming requires animal husbandry. The chemical fertilizer paradigm is destroying the land’s fertility, and it will take animal manures, compost, and organic matter to restore that. Buy food from local farmers who are raising their animals in the way nature intended. Cows should have pasture, not corn. Pigs should be allowed to root around and eat a diverse diet. Chickens should be allowed free range and fresh, short pasture. Take a look at Polyface Farm run by Joel Salatin. He has converted more than one vegan/vegetarian back to omnivore. Many vegetarians and especially vegans struggle to get all of the vitamins necessary, many of which are found only in animal fats and flesh. Soy is terrible for you and just might make your daughter hit puberty at 9 yrs. old. It is full of estrogen.

    I am an organic farmer in southern KS. I raise primarily vegetables and small fruit and run a 120 family CSA. I need animals on my farm to maintain fertility on the land I farm, unless I want to spend a large amount of money on fertilizers that are not nearly as good for the land and often are often shipped long distances to my farm. Good farming requires animals.Period! The way we raise animals industrially is despicable and disgusting, but raising animals for meat does not have to be that way. For those who would have us do no harm to animals…what do you propose we do with a species when it becomes overpopulated? What do we do with the deer when we have 10,000 too many here in Southern KS and they are eating all of your vegetarian food? I’m not trying to be cynical here. This is a real life situation. What do I do as a vegetable farmer when we go from 2 rabbits to 80 rabbits in a season and they wipe out half my lettuces in a night. I shoot them and I eat them because if I don’t then there won’t be any vegetables for other humans to eat. Think things through here. A pure vegetarian farming scenario does not work.



    • Jay says:

      Amen Kevin–you speak the truth! It’s bad enough if MY critters get into the garden, let alone ones I have no control over. Months of hard work are *poof* gone.
      I think folks tend to forget plants take time to grow and mature before there is a harvest. Something happens along the way (weather, critters) then there is no harvest. Farming isn’t easy!


    • loria says:

      Way to go kevin! thank you so much. i applaud you for your lucidity and action. hugs


  10. Bobi Becker says:

    The commercial meat industry is full of poisons. Where we live, there are several large ranches whom do not use any of the poisons and/or pesticides. You can buy locally from these ranches or in several farmer’s markets here in town. Also buying organic produce has become a way of life here for many however there are still many whom run to the big supermarkets to buy all the poisons. Personally I would prefer to raise all my own however that is not possible at this point in time. We do not eat a lot of meat however when we do, I prefer the non commercial beef, poultry pork and buffalo….


  11. John says:

    This is exactly why we are vegetarians, have known about and written about for years the fact that God has condemned the eating of animals with the blood and the fat in them, and that is only the clean animals. We mustn’t forget about the rest which are ‘unclean’ in God’s eyes, because they are the ones mostly eaten around the world today, the pig for instance is the worst offender.


  12. RJ says:

    I used to be one of those people who said “i could never give up meat.” But after watching a few documentaries & really educating myself on how our food is raised, I decided to go vegetarian last year. I can attest to feeling much healthier & have also lost several pounds not even trying. At the very least if you can’t go vegan/vegetarian buy only organic or at least know where and how your meat is raised as factory farming, in my eyes, is a crime 😦


  13. nanoduck says:

    I am not vegan, but I am losing my appepite for meat, due to rising cost and disgust at meat industry practices. Keeping animals in confined spaces, force feeding them GM food, pumping them full of hormones and antibiotics….disgusting. I have a hard time going through the meat asile, thinking about all that.


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