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Analysis Finds 55% Ground Beef, 39% Chicken Contaminated with Superbugs

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues Page, Food Safety Research Center Page and our CAFO's vs. Free Range Page.

Would you still eat that turkey burger if you knew it contained antibiotic resistant bacteria? Maybe not. But if you eat turkey, there's a good chance you are ingesting some of these potentially lethal "super bugs". The same holds true for beef, chicken, and pork, according to a recent analysis from the Environmental Working Group.

The EWG analyzed tests recently released from the federal government, and what they found was that a great deal of American meat is contaminated withantibiotic-resistant bacteria. More specifically, the EWG found the following contamination levels:

 • 81% of raw ground turkey
 •  69% of pork chops
 •  55% of raw ground beef
 •  39% of raw chicken

With the vast majority of U.S.-made pharmaceuticals going into livestock production, how could this possibly be? It's because the superbugs are created in part by an overabundance of antibiotics. Sounds a little backwards, right? Well, bacteria are living things; they evolve and change to survive just like humans or animals do. And to this end, when something threatens them, they adjust to build defenses. This is how powerful bacteria become impervious to potent antibiotics.

MedicalNewsToday reports that 30 million pounds of antibiotics were sold in 2011. This marks an increase of 22% since 2005. And somewhere around 80% of those drugs went to meat production. As we pump more and more antibiotics into the food system, we will likely see a greater concentration, variety, and fallout of these superbugs.


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