The Horror of "Superbugs"

Food poisoning is ugly stuff, and it can be downright deadly, but, luckily, there are powerful antibiotics that can beat back most cases of salmonella or other bacterial food poisonings. Unless, however, the bug infecting you happens to have evolved into a "superbug" that is immune to antibiotics.

"Superbugs" is not the title of some bad horror movie, but a truly horrible reality of modern life in which some bacteria are rapidly developing a resistance to even our most powerful antibiotic drugs. Two new scientific studies have found an alarming rise in meat products that are contaminated with these antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In one study, the Center for Disease Control examined 407 chicken samples taken from supermarkets in four states. More than half were contaminated with E. faecium bacteria that had developed immunity to the three drugs usually used to kill it. In the other study, the Food & Drug Administration examined 200 samples of ground beef, chicken, pork, and turkey from supermarkets in the Washington D.C. area. A fifth of the samples contained salmonella bacteria, and 83 percent of these bacteria were resistant to at least one of the antibiotics commonly used to kill this bug.

Not only is this rapid and deadly mutation scary, but it's also stupid, for it should not be happening at all. The problem stems from the fact that giant agribusiness operators are dosing chickens, cattle, and other animals with tons of antibiotics annually, not to cure disease, but -- get this -- to force the animals to gain weight quickly. While some three million pounds of antibiotics go to treat humans each year, nearly 25 million pounds are fed to animals simply to speed up the fattening process ... and to fatten the profits of the giant meat purveyors.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... In their rush to profit, these corporations are creating the superbugs in our meat supply ... and literally making a killing on us.

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