Factory farms the root of superbugs

August 13, 2008

A new European study, published by the Food Commission, claims that the heavy use of antibiotics in livestock farming is the cause of many superbugs, including salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli.

The problem is highlighted in the study by organic farming expert and policy adviser to the Soil Association, Richard Young.

“The use of antibiotics is a cornerstone of intensive livestock production and because this is such an enormous industry there will inevitably be a reluctance to change,” he said. “No one wants to stop farmers using antibiotics when they are genuinely needed. However, there are a number of very serious problems now developing and the evidence increasingly suggests that food is part of the problem.”

Young went on to say that we need an urgent review of the overall situation with clear recommendations to prevent an “impending crisis.”  

Experts at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have called for a Europe-wide review of safety regimes to tackle the growing menace of food superbugs.

A report from EFSA experts published this year concluded that, “Antimicrobial resistance of bacteria is a growing concern as antimicrobials become less effective in fighting human infections,” and “this coincides with a rise in bacterial resistance to antimicrobials in animal populations,” said Young.

The principal foods carrying such antimicrobial resistant bacteria are poultry meat, eggs, pork or beef, the report added.

http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/latest_08_superbugs.htm?dm_i=346427006, http://www.worldpoultry.net/home/id2205-55201/factory_farms_the_root_of_new_superbugs.html, http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_home.htm

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