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Friday, April 15, 2011

These animals are making us sick

A groundbreaking study today reveals that Staphylococcus aureus (or staph) has been found in 47% of the meat and poultry tested in a national assessment conducted by the Translational Genomics Research Institute. The study was supported by a grant from the stellar Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.

Highlights from the release on the study states:

...Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates... Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples — 47 percent were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria — 52 percent were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics... Researchers collected and analyzed 136 samples — covering 80 brands — of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Flagstaff and Washington, D.C. ...

I encourage you to read the entire release here:

The Translational Genomics Research Institute is a non-profit center focusing on an array of human diseases, including Alzheimer's, Autism, Parkinson's, Diabetes and cancer. One can deduce that they looked into this case because staph infections lead to a number of human diseases, such as pneumonia, endocarditis and sepsis.

This study, while groundbreaking, is not new news.

The 2011 CDC findings estimate that "roughly 1 out of 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases."

And every few months an event (usually in the form of a recall --- remember when half a billion eggs were recalled last year for salmonella poisoning? ) will occur that reminds us how dangerous and unhealthy our food is when it is raised or harvested on factory farms.

The question is, when will it happen so frequently that we will finally say, "Enough!"?

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