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New superbug strains are no surprise
Posted 3 June 2011
It comes as no surprise that a new strain of the superbug MRSA has been found in cows’ milk. When animals are raised in close proximity to one another - often in highly-stressful, filthy, factory farm conditions - it would be naïve to imagine that they will not suffer high levels of infectious diseases that place people as well as animals at risk.
In order to keep them alive long enough to reach slaughter weight, farmed animals are fed antibiotics. The industry’s overuse of these drugs has allowed pathogens to mutate into more dangerous forms and become drug resistant. This has led the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to warn that global meat production poses a serious threat to human health.
The recent European E.coli outbreak is also thought to have originated in farmed animals. Although scientists have yet to pinpoint the precise source, they believe that salad vegetables were infected by bacteria in animal manure that was used to fertilise the crops.
The best way to prevent future food-borne disease outbreaks and an increase in drug-resistant superbug strains is to stop farming animals and switch to an animal-free diet.