"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "


Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009


""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."


Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pig Sick - Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health - MRSA ST398 - the new community health problem ?


'Sick as a pig' is a campaigning film produced and filmed in Holland and commissioned by the Soil Association in conjunction with Compassion in World Farming. This exposes the rise of a new strain of MRSA in pigs (called ST398), and links its with the overuse of antibiotics on intensive pig farms throughout Europe. (Press release)

Amongst other claims the producers say 40% of Dutch pigs and up to 50% of Dutch pig farmers are now carrying this new and virulent strain which is spreading into the wider population. First detected in Holland in 2003 it now causes almost one in three cases of MRSA treated in Dutch hospitals, the programme makers said. In Dutch hospitals farmers are no longer permitted in general wards without prior screening.

The widespread use of antibiotics in intensive pig farming is claimed to be the cause for rapid spread of farm-animal MRSA.The Soil association claim some 60-70% of British farmers regularly use large doses of antibiotics in pig production. Organic standards, prohibit the routine use of antibiotics.

A spokesman for British Pig Exporters (BPEX) said: "MRSA has not been detected in farmed livestock in the UK and there is no current evidence that food producing animals form a reservoir in the UK.

Sixty percent of the pork meat the UK consumes is imported. 87% of imported bacon comes from the Netherlands or Denmark. 63% of imported pork and 57% of imported processed pig meat comes from Denmark, the Netherlands or Germany.

"The European Food Safety Authority is undertaking studies, looking at the issue of MRSA in food-producing animals and considering what surveillance and other actions would be most appropriate for monitoring use of antibiotics - which the UK are helping with.

The UK has decided not to publish any British results from the EU survey of pigs for MRSA before November 2009.(Perhaps the problem will disappear if it is ignored - like Blue Tongue in cattle)

The first concete evidence that pigs could infect people with MRSA came in the Netherlands in 2004, when a young woman tested positive for a new strain of MRSA, called ST398. The family lived on a farm, public health authorities moved in in — and found that three family members, three co-workers and 8 of 10 pigs tested all carried MRSA. See Pigs to humans: alert over new MRSA strain Guradian 25th June 2007

A small Dutch study found pig farmers there were 760 times more likely than the general population to carry MRSA (without necessarily showing symptoms), and Scientific American reports that this strain of MRSA has turned up in 12 percent of Dutch retail pork samples.Now this same strain of MRSA has also been found in the United States. A new study by Tara Smith, a University of Iowa epidemiologist, found that 45 % of pig farmers she sampled carried MRSA, as did 49 % of the hogs tested.

Farming UK has a story 2 weeks ago that (MRSA) has been found at several farms in Switzerland by the the Swiss federal veterinary office (BVET).

The bacteria was found in one pig and two cows on farms in the West of Switzerland. In addition, three producers have been contaminated.

The infections were discovered through research by the University of Lausanne and the Institute Galli-Valerio, that investigated over 100 farms on MRSA. They discovered the prevalence of the MRSA strain ST398.

The report says that MRSA in pigs has also recently been established in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Canada and the USA.

To arrive at some understanding of the scale ofthe problem - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 94,000 Americans get serious, invasive MRSA infections each year and nearly 19,000 die. Treatment costs between $3 and $4 billion a year, according to an estimate by Dr. Larry Liu of Pfizer Inc. One study(2006 Morbidity and cost burden of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in early onset ventilator-associated pneumonia) shows Attributable excess costs ) of MRSA amounted to approximately US$8000 per case after controlling for case mix and severity.

Note : 'Sick as a pig' can be viewed online at http://www.theecologist.org/etv/
and http://www.green.tv/ecologist_sick_as_a_pig1 (from 13.30, 20 th March)
It is a new documentary made by the Ecologist Film Unit based on an investigation by Ecostorm for the Soil Association / Compassion in World Farming and the Soil Association report, 'MRSA in farm animals and meat: a new threat to human health'

6 comments:

Pat Gardiner said...

This is a real life "can of worms" - a real cover-up of serious crime and risk to humans.


I have spent almost decade on this disaster, day after day: there at the beginning, with pigs and in pig country when the horror story started.

We decided on a self-sufficient lifestyle and walked into a nightmare.

There is little doubt that MRSA in pigs has been leaking into the hospitals for some years.

There was a nasty mutation to a porcine circovirus in Britain in 1999 which caused an epidemic that required huge quantities of antibiotics to handle the consequences.

MRSA in pigs was the result, usually the ST398 strain.

The Dutch picked up the problem about four years ago and commendably make everything they knew public.

Both circovirus and MRSA epidemics have now travelled the world along with accompanying cover-ups. It is quite a nasty situation - now coming to light in the USA.

MRSA st398, mutated circovirus and various other unpleasant zoonotic diseases have now reached American pig farms.

The people exposing the scandal in the US are to be commended.

I have extensive records available to anyone researching the link and can often answer general questions quickly and accurately.


--
Regards
Pat Gardiner
Release the results of testing British pigs for MRSA and C.Diff now!
www.go-self-sufficient.com and http://animal-epidemics.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The amount of under the counter sales of antibiotics to farmers by pharmaceutical reps visiting them is the crime.

ziz said...

Like Mr Mc Nulty's handy subvention for his parents house all legal and above board because it is "off prescription" - just feed vancomycin to pigs because they love the taste.

sam_m said...

Whilst my religion forbids the consumption of swine, my humour doesn't.
So I'll add Porkopolis to the nfo in this thread.

If the mechanics of factory farming are too much for you, scroll down to "WE HAVE GONE TOO FAR" for the influence of genetic engineering.

Anonymous said...

'Sick as a pig'

I know one pig that isn`t sick...

http://tinyurl.com/c9ncac

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janecena

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish