Factory farms, the root of new superbugs
A new study now claims that the heavy use of antibiotics in livestock
farming is the cause of many superbugs, causing illness on a large scale.
Superbugs, including salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli, are said to have
developed an immunity to antibiotics, which is an issue reportedly recognised by
the World Health Organisation and doctors and academics who have called for a
reduction in the use of antibiotics on farms and in human medicine, reports the
This problem has been highlighted in a study published by the Food
Commission by organic farming expert and policy adviser to the Soil Association,
"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 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
"The principal foods carrying such antimicrobial resistant bacteria are
poultry meat, eggs, pork or beef," the report added.
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