October 21, 2016

Study Finds 24% of UK Chicken Has Antibiotic-Resistant E. coli Bacteria

A study conducted at Cambridge University found antibiotic-resistant E. coli bacteria on 24% of chicken samples taken from the seven largest supermarkets in the United Kingdom, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota (CIDRAP). That is more than four times higher than results obtained in another study conducted in 2015. Resistance was "frequently found to three families of antibiotics that are particularly important for treating human E. coli urinary-tract and blood-poisoning infections," according to the study. The study was commissioned by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, an organization in England that is dedicated to reducing the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our food supply. Scientists analyzed 189 … [Read more...]

Farming and Deforestation Could be Behind Ebola Outbreak

According to an article in The Conversation, deforestation and industrial-scale farming could have been a contributing factor in the Ebola outbreak in Africa. The global palm oil industry has been deep-cutting into forests; this helps spread pathogens by opening areas formerly untouched to human exploration. And land grabs force animals out of forests where they come into more frequent contact with humans. The Ebola virus occurs in fruit bats, which are natural hosts. When people in very poor communities face scarcity of food, they go further into the forest to hunt and butcher wildlife, known as bush meat. Bush meat is a major source of the virus. These changes lead to something called an Allee effect, which occurs when changes in one part of the ecology cause populations in … [Read more...]

California’s Ag Gag Bill Pulled by Author

The Humane Society of the United States is announcing that the California anti-whistleblower "ag gag" legislation, AB 343, that was backed by the California Cattlemen's Association, was pulled by the bill's author. Assembly member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) pulled the bill after widespread opposition by food safety, environmental, and animal rights organizations. Labor unions and first amendment organizations also opposed the bill. Jennifer Fearing, California state director for the HSUS said, "We are pleased to see the bill shelved. The problem isn't the rate at which animal cruelty is disclosed to authorities - but with the rampant cruelty itself. Industrial farming operations should be run so well that videos could never capture anything they wouldn't want their customers to … [Read more...]

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