Monday, December 10, 2012
Is Beef a Danger to Human Health?
This is going to be hard to get your head around but it's claimed that 80% of the antibiotics used in the United States is used in meat animals.
And experts now worry that medicated meat now poses a very serious health risk to humans.
As in humans, bacteria growing inside animals that are given antibiotics can develop a resistance to the medicines, Newland explained. That resistant bacteria can then be transferred to the soil through animal waste.
During severe storms, such as the EF5 tornado which killed 161 people in Joplin, that contaminated soil can end up in open wounds, and even modern medicine is challenged in combating the serious infections that can occur.
“We are increasingly treating kids with antibiotic-resistant infections who were at the last antibiotic we could possibly use on them,” [Dr. Jason Newland, of Children's Mercy Hospital] said. “In the next 20 years will we see antibiotics resistant to everything?”
A yearlong investigation by The Kansas City Star found a multimillion-dollar-a-year pharmaceutical arms race in the beef industry is not just about curing sick cows.
It’s also about fattening cattle cheaply and quickly, driven in part by efforts to maximize profits, according to food safety advocates. In fact, the same number of cattle today are producing twice as much meat as they did in the 1950s because of genetics, drugs and more efficient processing.
Despite decades of warnings, the federal government has failed to pass meaningful regulation of animal drug use, failed to adequately monitor the harmful residues they leave behind, and failed to stop the consumption of meat contaminated with such substances.
So we're breeding livestock that are medicated and eventually produce antibiotic-resistant and potentially deadly bacteria that they transfer in their waste to our highly organic soil after which they're transferred to us on the winds. And, of course, we have to heavily medicate them with antibiotics just to keep them alive in our industrial feedlot production system.
Brilliant, f**king brilliant. And if that's not enough, here's another McClatchey piece exploring the perils of mechanically tenderized beef.