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08:13 PM on 03/04/2011
Food for thought?
06:56 PM on 03/04/2011
I had to tell the doctor to pull the plug on my mom's medical support equipment and watch her die because the septic bacteria had invaded and destroyed her brain stem and it could regulate her blood pressure and other bodily functions. She caught this infection from a nursing home where someone didn't wash their hands when working with her IV.
The ICU doctor at Missouri Baptist said 30% of the deaths she sees now are from sepsis infections she has no antibiotics that will kill. Cdiff, MRSA and others are now unstoppable except by amputation or colon removal. We need to find new antibiotics and stop this practice for us eer to go back to being safe like we had been.
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dana c
Tempus fugit, memento mori!
06:16 PM on 03/04/2011
."It's shameful and repulsive that so much of our scientific genius goes into producing drugs for our livestock --"
That's exactly how I feel. I'm disgusted about the industry that produces and supplies our life's fuel. I’m actually heartbroken because I really love real, good food. Hopefully I’m going to have a child soon and I’m scared of how am I going to be able to feed my child a balanced, natural (the real deal not the labeled only “natural” stuff), nutritious, healthy, delicious diet. It’s getting harder and harder, and so expensive to avoid man made or man altered food. This subject leaves me hopeless and with a bad aftertaste.
RVLady
I'm an old lady who lives in an RV. You'd be surp
04:50 PM on 03/04/2011
you can't have Meatless Mondays unless you eat organic! Have you forgotten Monsanto and gmo foods, they are worse for you than the meat. MILLIONS AGAINST MONSANTO!
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Punzelda
Radically Progressive & Magically Delicious
04:32 PM on 03/04/2011
Subsidies to meat industries have brought prices so low that a $1 taco filled with meat-ish stuff is possible. The only way to break the cycle that starts on meat farms and ends in the hospital is through incremental individual action, such as Meatless Mondays (that could be the starting point, but Meat only on Fridays would be a powerful goal), supporting farmers' markets, buying local food, and cooking at home.

Our government has proven that they will not protect citizens from tainted foods, unhealthy substances, dangerous pharmaceuticals, high-priced health insurance, or environmental contamination. It's more important to congress to protect the profits of companies like McDonalds and Big Pharma, since our congress is on the payroll of most large corporations.
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jumbotron16
a slight improvement over jumbotron15
09:18 PM on 03/04/2011
Is there any point to my participating in "Meatless Mondays" if all the meat I eat is from animals I raised myself? I guess there would be a point only if you believe that meat is harmful to your health...which I don't.
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Punzelda
Radically Progressive & Magically Delicious
10:24 AM on 03/05/2011
You're part of the solution. You are independently producing your own food.
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ninetailedfox
banning people.....so childish
05:55 AM on 03/06/2011
Meat is only harmful if you make it harmful, but i will say this, my husband and dad both had a heart attack after eating a steak. certain meats should be eaten occasionally, or not at all.
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justasking101
I know my microbio doesn't meet yur standards.
12:42 PM on 03/04/2011
I totally agree that Americans have big appetites for meat, but that's totally not the reason corporations feed animals antibiotics and growth hormones. They do it to feed their own appetites for cold hard cash. If they don't ever have to clean up poop and the animals bulk up real fast, the bottom line goes right up.
(Pertinent quote:"Sometimes these antibiotics are meant to cure illnesses but often they are used to spur growth and weight gain in their animals, fattening them up for our growing American appetites....And even when antibiotics are needed to actually cure infections in livestock, these illnesses are anything but natural -- caused instead by horrible conditions, in which animals are crowded into filthy, confined spaces, spreading disease at alarming rates, all to keep up with growing American appetites.")
09:17 AM on 03/04/2011
America is indeed the sickest 'terminally ill' sick country in the world and we are just getting sicker. Politicians are to blame, period. They allow through bribes and payoffs, corporations to put whatever poisons and toxins into so called food that they deem fit for them to profit from the poison passed off as food.

This is March. Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. We have an African American family in the White House and they still do not hang the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Star as they so joyfully do for the pink ribbon, and they are at a 30% greater risk of getting colorectal cancer and a 30% greater risk of dying from it if they get it.

Today is wear blue for awareness day but where is the blue?

America is being poisoned plain and simple, and will do nothing about it. We've become a country of idiots.
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Roseberry
The neutrinos ate my homework.
08:27 PM on 03/04/2011
I wore blue all day and it was just by accident -- I had no idea! We need to get the word out about this completely preventable illness. Everybody starting at age 50 should get checked. It's painless, and yes it requires somewhat-annoying preparation, but once it's all over you can chow like a happy hog. On something good for you, of course...! Get tested, people.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
The Revolving Diet
Doing a Different Diet Weekly & Blogging about it
09:16 AM on 03/04/2011
Excellent article.
Antibiotics are preventative and we are only hurting ourselves if we take too many in. Example being...this winter alone my neice who is 14 years old, active and very healthy got a cold, was given one antibiotic, was on it a week and she still was not better, was put on another anitibiotic and still not better they had to do blood work to find out why she wasn't getting over this cold/flu. She was listless and home from school the entire time. She suffered for over three weeks with this and antibiotics didn't help. There are so many new strains of flu's and to affect someone young and healthy is just crazy.
I can not imagine the toll seomthing like what she went through hitting the elderly (or heck even a middleaged person).
Something to keep in mind with our food choices and being too quick to take too many antibiotics.
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Talking The Wolf
I support the right to arm bears.
10:39 AM on 03/04/2011
They aren't preventative medicine; antibiotics are a cure but only work if, as the article says, they're used sparingly. Your niece being prescribed an antibiotic for a cold is one of the reasons why the human body is becoming immune to their efficacy. Even if they hadn't been abused for many years by inappropriate applications such as in cattle feed, antibiotics are useless against a cold/flu and should never be prescribed or taken for something like that. In this respect doctors are as much to blame as the food industry, This is not a placebo...this is powerful medicine that shouldn't be wasted on non-bacterial illnesses, They know this but prescribe anyway to placate patients who expect to leave their office with a prescription slip in their hands.
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Suzanne525
FourMore, WooHoo!!
03:26 PM on 03/04/2011
I agree with TalkingtheWolf.

Antibiotics are not for colds or flu. They are for bacterial infections. They should never be considered preventative. People do expect their doctors to prescribe meds for every little ailment, and that is part of the problem.

Try to avoid systemic drugs as much as possible. Sometimes they are necessary, and we want them to be effective.
08:15 AM on 03/04/2011
There are at least a few cases where feeding antibiotics is done without the "factory farm" situation being present, one being feeding CTC to beef cows during the summer to prevent anaplasmosis, a blood disease carried by ticks. They are on open range, not in a feedlot.

Chloratetracycline I believe is the most widely used antibiotic in feed, it has been around forever, and I do not recall the doctor ever giving any to me. I would guess there is more danger of resistance to human grade antibiotics from prescribing them for every little sniffle than there is from using older ones like CTC in livestock feed.

My it is easy for America to criticize those who grow food while it has a full stomach.
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Suzanne525
FourMore, WooHoo!!
03:30 PM on 03/04/2011
Are you disputing that large scale livestock operations use antibiotics routinely and without need?
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wallyone
07:40 AM on 03/06/2011
23% of the antibiotics cited were ionophores, which are never used in people, are not absorbed into the animals' bodies, and are active against a protozoa that does not affect people. 28% were tetracyclines, mostly CTC, which is very rarely used in people. The transferral of resistance to human pathogenic bacteria does not appear to be likely to be a major factor, certainly much less than the overprescribing of antibiotics by physicians.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
HealthHabits
07:38 AM on 03/04/2011
Great article Laurie

This situation touched me personally last month when my father died in hospital from the 2 drug resistant bugs that he picked up during his "supposed to be short" stay.

Needless to say, I am more than a little angry about the overuse of antibiotics in the food industry

http://www.healthhabits.ca/2011/03/03/antibiotics-drug-resistant-bacteria-food/
03:24 AM on 03/04/2011
Articles like this have been amusing me for 4 decades. Nothing ever changes because the corporate oligarchy that really controls this country "ain't" gonna allow itself to waste so much income for the sake of America's children and elderly. Today's social Darwinism: survival of the richest!
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mlaiuppa
Pres. Sarcasm Society. Like we need your approval.
02:05 AM on 03/04/2011
If 80% of antibiotics produced go to CAFOs you better believe the government will never outlaw them. Big Pharma will see to that. Since they own Congress they can't lose 80% of their sales.
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dana c
Tempus fugit, memento mori!
06:25 PM on 03/04/2011
I'm afraid you just hit the nail on the head. Scary!
F&F
10:38 AM on 03/08/2011
Not only are these antibiotics found in the meat and dairy supplies, but those same antibiotics find their way into surface (recreation) and ground (drinking) water. I live in Idaho (the second largest cheese producing state in the country) where we have a large number of dairy CAFOs. In the CAFO heavy areas, we also have livestock-only antibiotics and hormones (used as growth promoters), high nitrates, E-coli, heavy metals, etc. in our drinking (ground) water. In Marsing we have nitrates in a dairy monitoring well that are over 170 mg/L-- the maximum "safe" limit is 10 mg/L. The state agencies that are supposed to be looking out for the public's health and welfare when it comes to all things CAFOs-- our Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)-- continue to do what they do best, watch the nitrate levels climb ever higher, while doing absolutely nothing. Our legislature, instead of getting serious about addressing the problems these factory farms have created, is now trying to pass a revised Right to Farm bill (HB210). I call it the Right to Pollute bill. It shields industrial operations, (of ALL types, so long as they are "associated with" agriculture), including CAFOs, from nuisance suits. Here we have Idaho. For those of you who think (as I used to) that Idaho epitomizes clean air and clean water, edible fish and game- think again! Alma Hasse, Executive Director, I.C.A.R.E..
01:18 AM on 03/04/2011
A note about what anti-biotics are:Toxins or poisons made by Fungus.
"Anti" means against. "Bio" is life. Anti-biotics are "against life". Man has contained certain fungal poisons, or "mycotoxins"to kill bacterias. Fungus produces mycotoxins to protect it's survival, kill the competition, or change it's environment to better it's chances at survival and this can and does happen in the human body, also with livestock (all living things).
Some fungi (plural), when in the human body through inhalation, ingestion of contaminated food (especially Peanuts and grain), etc.,for just one example (there are over 400 known pathogenic fungi), has the ability to change the hormone Progesterone (stay pregnant hormone) into cortisol (a stress hormone).Cortisol turns the blood into sugary filled jam, and sugar is what fungi need to survive. This particular situation can cause infertility, diabetes, high blood pressure, and will cause a cascading increase in health problems and reduce the quality of life, greatly. The best information on this subject in the U.S.A. is a web site, www.knowthecause.com I have adopted the FUPO mantra, regarding disease, think "Fungus Until Proven Otherwise".
11:37 PM on 03/03/2011
Excellent article!!! Laurie, Thank you for bringing insight into this truly life-threatening topic! And, educating people that may have been unaware! My body has a serious problem with antibiotics, due to over-prescribed amounts when I was younger. And, I have had a chronic illness (Fibromyalgia) for about half of my life (I'm only 32), that has worsened drastically over the last 8 years. Due to severe short term memory impairment, I often forget to take my daily supplements. But, have found that taking a Pro-biotic has been extremely effective in lessening viral symptoms. I was once again on round after round this past fall, and this winter has been one of the hardest (health-wise) in many years. I also developed a sudden allergy to Sulfa (Bactrum) at 18, after being on it many times in a year or two period. I am very susceptible to every illness that I'm exposed to & have had many types of bacterial infections that are severe or chronic; however, I only take antibiotics as an absolute last resort. And, almost always HAVE to take a pro-biotic along with it to prevent severe gastric upset & a secondary infection. Once again, thank you for this very informative article!
10:07 PM on 03/03/2011
There's a great documentary film called Food Inc. which deals with the icky practices of the US agriculture industry. Definitely worth seeing.