Meat a likely source of deadly antibiotic-resistant superbug - 17 July 2009  
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Meat a likely source of deadly antibiotic-resistant superbug.

An investigative report by Prevention Magazine in the US revealed that a high percentage of factory farm workers tested positive for the deadly antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus superbug MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus). This bacteria can cause serious skin infections that sometimes lead to much life-threatening internal organ damage, with one UK study seeing a 30 percent mortality rate within 30 days.

During an interview with Supreme Master Television, Dr. Michael Greger, author of “Bird Flu: A Virus of our Own Hatching,” explained how the meat industry spreads the dangerous MRSA infection into the community.

Dr. Michael Greger – Author of “Bird Flu: A Virus of our Own Hatching”, Vegan (M): In the past, the only people that used to get MRSA infections were either people in the hospital or people visiting people in the hospital. But then all of a sudden, there started to appear cases of MRSA in people that had no contact with the medical care settings, so-called community acquired MRSA. In the Netherlands, they found very high rates of MRSA infection among people that worked among pigs and among the pigs themselves.

VOICE: Daily antibiotics fed to farm animals to make them grow faster is viewed as a likely cause of MRSA infections. In the US alone, 70 percent of all antibiotics dispensed are given to farm animals, just to keep them briefly alive in stressful, deplorable conditions.

Dr. Michael Greger (M): Just this year 2009, we finally did the first testing of pigs and pig farmers here in the United States. Approximately half the pig farmers and half the of pigs that have been tested here in the Unites States are infected with MRSA, which really raises the question, could these farms and these farming environments be leading to these community acquired infections?

VOICE: MRSA can be spread both by infected farm and slaughterhouse workers who become carriers, as well as from the preparation of meat containing MRSA.

SMTV(f): What kind of a dangers does MRSA present for public health and food safety?

Dr. Michael Greger (M): We looked at retail pork in Louisiana, and found that pork samples bought right from the supermarket also had MRSA on it. People may handle it, and should one touch a meat sample that has MRSA, and then unwittingly touch their mucous membranes: their eyes, nose and mouth,if they happen to rub their eyes or something, then they can become infected and could be carriers of this disease and then spread it to their family, spread it to their pets, and spread it to other people. And so that’s why it not only is a food safety risk, but it’s a public health risk as well. And MRSA is only one of many multi-drug resistant pathogens.

VOICE: Meanwhile, the swine flu virus, also a public health threat caused by the meat industry, continues to spread, with the latest number of official cases reaching 128,273 across 137 countries, with at least 679 fatalities.

In the UK, the total number of confirmed cases rose by 50% within the past week alone. Australian health officials are advising expectant mothers, who are particularly vulnerable, to stay home from work, as five who have been diagnosed with swine flu are currently in intensive care and four others are on life support in Sydney, with a total of more than 10,000 cases nationwide. Chile’s reported swine flu tally has also now surpassed 10,000, mostly afflicting those under age 19.

Dr. Greger, we thank you for sharing your expertise on this vital health matter. We, too, are concerned about the link between the devastating antibiotic resistant MRSA and the meat industry. We pray for all those who have become infected by MRSA as well as other by-product diseases of animal raising such as the swine flu. May there be a soon end to the consumption of all animal products for the ultimate protection of global public health.


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