Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Denmark & UK? - Almost every third box of pork is MRSA-infected

A doubtful machine translation, with much of the source material in Danish behind password protection, is causing a stir in Denmark.

The Danes seem to be admitting that British supermarkets are full of MRSA contaminated Danish pork.

From other prior sources, we are pretty certain that is right. They probably do not want to broadcast the fact in English and prefer an ambiguous publication. It has happened often before and is part of the price of allowing PR fanatics to take control of animal health.

And, we understand, that the Scottish Government has just given the Danes a contract to manage Scotland's only pig slaughterhouse, which in turn has received a substantial taxpayer subsidy.

If we had any reliable figures from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, which we do not, we would probably find MRSA contamination in local pork just as bad, possibly even worse.

Scotland has not yet admitted any MRSA in their pigs or pork. That has to come soon.

Read the Politiken report in full here.

19 MAY. 2015 KL. 6.19

Almost every third box of pork is MRSA-infected

Eight out of 25 parcels pork containing the resistant bacterium MRSA, the study by the Consumer Council.

A. Two. Three - MRSA.

There should not be counted very many packages in British supermarkets with pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork sliced and rib roast for that statistically has identified a package where the resistant bacteria MRSA hiding.

For eight out of 25 parcels pork is the multi-resistant MRSA bacterium CC398 secret guest, according to a new study by the Consumer Council Think, writes BT.

Consumer Council has studied the 25 packages of meat in the laboratory and found the particular type of staphylococci in eight of them.

"Our tests confirm that MRSA is widespread and moves from sties and completely in supermarkets, and we as a society are facing a huge challenge to fight the multi-resistant bacteria resurfacing," says Anja Philip, president of the Consumer Council Think to BT...

...Even though MRSA is not immediately dangerous to healthy people, it can be fatal for elderly or frail people to put teeth in MRSA-infested meat.

According to Hans Jorgen Kolmos, a professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Southern Denmark, the spread of MRSA "have far-reaching consequences," wrote BT...

Superbugs "Sooner or later, somebody is going to be gunning for these guys."

Jim O'Neill, now Lord O'Neill as of the last few days, on Antibiotic Resistance in BBC 1 flagship Panorama last night:

"Sooner or later, somebody is going to be gunning for these guys."

They already are.

In fairness, there has been a massive change in attitude by some of Britain's most senior veterinarians in the last few days.  They obviously know 'the game is up' and are trying to manage damage limitation.

Incidentally, the uk.business.agriculture archives are now being plundered in a systematic way, obviously for evidence. Investigators and journalists will find plenty of interest dating back years, often from sources prematurely removed.

This really was, and is, the scandal of the century.

On the political side, it will impact on both Scottish independence and Britain's membership of the EU.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Breaking - Hepatitis E confirmed in Irish Pigs

No surprise here then: a similar situation to Britain, finally admitted.

What is disgraceful is how long the scandal took to be reported - and the health implications for pig farmers and staff, and, not least, veterinarians. The writer has been complaining about a cover-up both sides of the Irish Sea for years.

The row over pig health and the impact on human health in both Britain and Ireland is going to be amazing, with the veterinary profession in both countries in the dock.

By the way, the abstract is dated 8th May, but available today on The Irish Veterinary Journal, here.

Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E virus infection in the Irish pig population

Michael O'Connor*, Sarah-Jayne Roche and Dónal Sammin
" *Corresponding author: Michael O'Connor 
Author Affiliations

For all author emails, please log on.
Irish Veterinary Journal 2015, 68:8  doi:10.1186/s13620-015-0036-3

Published: 8 May 2015

Abstract (provisional)


Hepatitis E is an acute viral disease of humans, occurring in explosive outbreaks in the developing world and as sporadic cases in returning travellers. Increasing recognition of indigenous transmission in Western countries suggests a zoonotic source of infection, most likely pigs. To determine if hepatitis E virus is present in Irish pigs, sera from 330 animals were examined for antibodies using a commercially available ELISA. Findings Antibodies were detected in 89 pigs (27%) in 13 herds (81%). 


Hepatitis E virus is present in most Irish pig herds and in many animals within these herds.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

Friday, 1 May 2015

USA and Britain - Pigs, Pork & Diabetes

This is a massively important report from the ever reliable Tara Smith and associates.

It illustrates yet again the dangers from livestock related superbugs and how fast the USA is now drawing ahead of Defra dominated Britain with its constant denials and cover-ups of veterinary incompetence and bullying.

The shocking part for Britain is that there no surprises here for some of us.

Defra and its veterinarians have known about the dangers for years, and done nothing to help protect the farmers, public health and the hospitals.

You can be sure that the various diabetes' charities and organisations will be hot on devious Defra's tail. Many diabetic Britons will have a personal interest in getting this aired and those responsible for the problem investigated and removed from positions of authority.

On a personal note - The writer was campaigning on this long before becoming a type one diabetic. His diabetes was the consequence of an infection following pancreatic cancer and intensive care, so keeping diabetics clear of infections is well understood.

You should read the report in full here:

Study finds swine farming is a risk factor for drug-resistant staph infections

by Debra Venzke

A new Univ. of Iowa study reports swine farmers are six times more likely to have staph bacteria than others. Credit: Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Swine farmers are more likely to carry multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or "staph") than people without current swine exposure, according to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Iowa, Kent State University, and the National Cancer Institute.

The study, published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the largest prospective examination of S. aureus infection in a group of livestock workers worldwide, and the first such study in the United States...

...The study authors note the research helps keep farmers safe by raising awareness about a potential health issue in swine operations. S. aureus does not present an economic concern for swine farmers since pigs generally are unaffected by staph infections.

"S. aureus does not typically make pigs sick, but they can act as carriers and transmit the bacterium to farmers," says Tara Smith, corresponding author on the study. "While carriage of S. aureus isn't itself harmful, individuals who harbor the bacterium in their nose, throat, or on their skin are at risk of developing an active staph infection, and they can also pass the bacterium to other family or community members. Individuals who may be immunocompromised, or have existing conditions such as diabetes, are especially at risk from staph infections."...

..."Current swine workers were six times more likely to carry multidrug-resistant S. aureus than those study participants without current swine exposure," says Smith. The study is based on research that Smith, currently an associate professor at Kent State University, conducted while she was a faculty member at the UI College of Public Health.

"Swine workers are also at risk of becoming infected with these organisms," Smith adds. "One hundred and three potential S. aureus infections were reported, and included infections with livestock-associated strains of this bacterium."

There currently is no method to prevent or eliminate carriage of S. aureus in animals or their human caretakers, meaning constant re-exposure and possibly transmission can occur between livestock and farm workers. Those workers can then pass staph to their family or community members.

"Iowa ranks third nationally in overall livestock production and first in swine production," notes Smith. "Transmission of staph between pigs and farmers and into the broader community could complicate efforts to control S. aureus transmission statewide, and have effects nationally due to the travel of pigs and people carrying these bacteria."

Journal reference: Clinical Infectious Diseases
Provided by University of Iowa

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Chinese Inspectors Visit Northern Ireland Pork Processors

This story troubled the writer. He knew why, but had no solutions, but a good night's sleep put that right.

The problem: There is no better way to spread diseases all over the world than to allow globe-trotting veterinarians and inspectors to tramp from farm to farm.

China to Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland to China. Either direction, it is a massive risk. Boots and breath can both spread disease.

But the Chinese need to be sure that the product they are buying is clear of disease in a pig disease ridden world and Northern Ireland needs the exports.

We know that veterinary certificates of health are completely unreliable and often recklessly issued or faked. Buyer Beware!

So the buyer insists on dangerous self-defeating inspections. They have no option.

Catch 22.

But it isn't.

Once all British trade certificates and documentation were the gold standard of international trade. The writer knows, he made his living on the front line. Britain's reputation was the tops.

Since, veterinary rot and corruption set in - including Northern Ireland where some years ago a large number of veterinarians were very gently tapped on the wrist for faking it up.

They are still there, those that have not retired to the sun, doubtless  still as unreliable, pompous, determined and corrupt. We should not be surprised that we have a huge series of international scandals from superbugs to horsemeat.

The Solution: Crack down on veterinary corruption, by bringing the culprits before the courts - make British, Irish, Chinese - anyone who wants to trade in animals and animal products proud to use veterinary certification that is clean, reliable and safe.

Strike off any veterinarian recklessly issuing certification - put them out of business for good. If they did it deliberately, put them behind bars for fraud. They damage their country and their country's customers by sabotaging their trading reputation.

Make sure that the world, its people, have access to safe guaranteed meat. Clean up the veterinary industry. We want Britain to be in the lead, being the best, so that young veterinarians are so proud of their integrity, that they would be sure to stand behind what they sign.

Be sure to read the report, in full, here:

Chinese Inspectors Visit Northern Ireland Pork Processors

28 April 2015

...The Chinese Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) are visiting Northern Ireland this week to assess pork processing premises to export...

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Overweight? It could be livestock antibiotics.

A very good article from the USA covering an aspect of antibiotic misuse on livestock that is rarely mentioned, and lies in the shadow of the apparently much more serious superbug crisis: the meat also makes you fat.

There is also a good explanation why merely banning antibiotics to increase weight in animals won't work in the USA, any more than it has in Europe.

Just a few quotes to whet your appetite.

Be sure to read the whole here:

Antibiotic Overload: Experts Blame Livestock Use for Human Resistance, Even Obesity

By Stacy Finz

...“I’ve been surprised that this has been allowed to persist,” said panelist Michael Pollan, a UC Berkeley journalism professor and food activist. “It’s a public health threat.”

And that’ s not all. Panelist Dr. Lee Riley, a UC Berkeley professor of infectious diseases who has studied the issue, said he believes that antibiotic use in food animals could be contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic...

...“If it’s a growth promoter in livestock, what do you think it is in humans?” he asked...

... Maryn McKenna, a science journalist at work on a book chronicling the history of antibiotic use in livestock production...

...The livestock industry has said that it’s not opposed to reducing its use of human antibiotics, but wants the option to continue to use antimicrobials as a prophylactic. (It’s common practice for large livestock producers to put antibiotics in feed and water as a preventative measure against disease.) Some producers say their stock would die without it...

...Holland actually saw an increase after its ban because farmers used the prophylactic reason as a loophole, McKenna said. American politicians have repeatedly tried to pass strict legislation both federally and statewide that would ban any kind of use other than to treat a sick animal, but to no avail.

“Big ag and big pharm are powerful industries,” Pollan said...

... “What needs to be changed is animal husbandry.”...

Posted on April 22, 2015 - 11:58am

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Mad Cow Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

Many times, over the years we commented that the impact of Britain's epidemic of Mad Cow -  vCJD on the rest of the world had been badly under-reported in Britain.

It was played down at home, but made a much bigger impact than most Brits realised abroad.

Apparently a NPR (National Public Radio) report is now "trending" in the USA.

Britain still suffers from a total lack of integrity in Defra, originally the agricultural ministry Maff. Their appalling behaviour in the past comes back to haunt us years later in the USA.

The Phillips Enquiry, reporting just after FMD 2001, despite censuring some politicians, hardly inspired confidence. The government veterinarians had amnesia when testifying. They were not under oath.

The whitewash may well be coming back to haunt Britain's veterinary establishment.  Animal feed and, this time the antibiotics added and under what authority, is coming to the fore again in the superbug crisis.

Here is Texas, be sure to read the whole article, here.

Mad Cow Disease In Texas Man Has Mysterious Origin

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Michaeleen Doucleff / NPR

...How did a rare disease linked to contaminated beef in the U.K. more
than a decade ago get to a Texas man?...

... And from 1980 to 1996, the U.K. continued to export contaminated
beef around the world. More than 200 people in 12 countries died from
mad cow disease...

... And the U.S. didn't import contaminated beef from the U.K...