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Healthier way!

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  • Healthier way!

    A farmer friend began a small business producing 'food' to be sold directly to an ever-growing list of consumers clamoring for the purity of his products. But, of course, the local 'officials' stepped in with their regulations. Although the 'assembly line' consisted of pristine stainless steel units, they were housed in an old farm barn. Sniff! Sniff! Not quite up to bureaucratic standards and not quite how it should be done. He was closed down or had to ship live to a packaging plant!

    But our brilliant leaders allow this ...

    Every time your doctor has prescribed you an antibiotic to treat an existing bacterial infection is a time you could have died of that infection. Maybe much less likely in some cases, more likely in others; but the risk is there. Now imagine that antibiotics stop working, especially for the really dangerous cases, and you and everyone you know has to face future infections with nothing better than hope, rest and tea.

    Welcome to the antibiotics apocalypse.

    Since it could actually happen, I'm going to rate an antibiotic apocalypse, worried over by the UK's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, as well as World Health Organisation head, Margaret Chan, as much scarier than a zombie apocalypse.

    As Davies told the UK Parliament last month, "Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible – similar to global warming ... Bacteria are adapting and finding ways to survive the effects of antibiotics, ultimately becoming resistant so they no longer work."

    Why is this more alarming now? Two reasons, and both have to do with corporate greed. (You are shocked, I know.)

    The first reason is that pharmaceutical companies have mostly stopped researching new antibiotics because they aren't very profitable. Which makes sense. Of course it's more profitable to come up with new antidepressants and boner pills than the next treatment for staph infection. How often do people get staph?

    Well, more often these days, since staph is infecting more people now that it's developed antibiotic-resistant strains, thanks to modern pig farms. In a sane country, we could call for more public research spending to develop new antibiotics if the market won't pick up the slack, but that's just not likely to happen.

    Though this takes us to the second reason for jumped-up antibiotic resistance, which is modern livestock practices for food animals of all types. Because it turns out that giving animals steady doses of antibiotics in their daily feed helps them put on weight faster, and it has the handy side effect of allowing them to survive incredibly filthy and overcrowded conditions where they're basically walking around ankle-deep in their own waste. (Mmm, bacon!)

    The meat industry now consumes four-fifths of all antibiotics used in the US, or 29.9 billion pounds of antibiotics in 2011, nearly four times the amount prescribed for human illness. Last year, the FDA responded to this crisis by releasing voluntary guidelines for reducing antibiotic use in livestock and banning the non-prescription use in livestock of one class of antibiotics that the meat industry formerly used about 54,000 pounds of per year.

    The livestock industry has no qualms against non-therapeutic overuse of even last resort antibiotics that are reserved to treat the most challenging human infections, and they'll do it remorselessly until the government steps in with a ban. And when you expose bacteria to (even very powerful) antibiotics on a routine basis, basic evolutionary biology tells us that any survivors will develop resistant populations, and basic evolutionary biology is right.

    So there you have it. The outlines of an apocalypse, and one that might even peak before global warming can do its worst.

    As usual 'ordinary folk' are way ahead and consumer groups in the US are organizing to push back on regulations to promote the family farmer in a step back to better ways and healthier food.

  • #2
    Re: Healthier way!

    Adulteration is rampant for profit - and crops are included!

    Your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Is Mostly Corn

    By Rebecca Leber and Aviva Shen

    On a typical Valentine’s Day, consumers buy more than 58 million pounds of chocolate. Since 70 percent of that chocolate is owned by two companies, Hershey and Mars, most of it was actually processed from genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans.

    In fact, an estimated 90 percent of processed food in grocery stores use GM corn and soybeans patented by agriculture giant Monsanto Company. That includes chocolates, which contain soy lecithin and high fructose corn syrup — a sweetener that’s been tied to the obesity epidemic.

    Milk chocolate is also likely to contain milk from cows injected with Monsanto’s hormone rBGH, which was banned in the European Union, Japan, Australia, and Canada because of the risks associated with increased hormones in cows and humans. The hormone was approved in the US when a Monsanto employee, Margaret Miller, oversaw a report on rBGH’s safety, took a job at the FDA, and promptly approved her own report.

    Though there is no conclusive evidence a box of GM chocolate will endanger your loved one’s health, the ubiquity of GM corn is still cause for concern. GMOs were marketed in the 1990s as a way to cut down on toxic pesticides, as the plants themselves were modified to repel pests and weeds. But a new crop of studies show these GM seeds are giving rise to evolved weeds and pests with beefed-up tolerance for pesticides. Farmers then have little choice but to apply heavier doses of even more toxic chemicals in an arms race with nature.


    • #3
      Re: Healthier way!

      I also read that it's very important to completely finish a course of antibiotics because stopping halfway through when you feel better gives the bug strain the opportunity to develop a resistance to the particular antibiotic.

      Come to think of it my GP also told me this.



      • #4
        Re: Healthier way!

        Too true, Elda. And, here is a result!

        Antibiotic Resistance Poses 'Catastrophic Threat' To Medicine, Says Britain's Top Health Official

        By Kate Kelland

        LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Antibiotic resistance poses a catastrophic threat to medicine and could mean patients having minor surgery risk dying from infections that can no longer be treated, Britain's top health official said on Monday.

        Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said global action is needed to fight antibiotic, or antimicrobial, resistance and fill a drug "discovery void" by researching and developing new medicines to treat emerging, mutating infections.

        Only a handful of new antibiotics have been developed and brought to market in the past few decades, and it is a race against time to find more, as bacterial infections increasingly evolve into "superbugs" resistant to existing drugs.

        "Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don't act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can't be treated by antibiotics," Davies told reporters as she published a report on infectious disease.

        "And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection."

        One of the best known superbugs, MRSA, is alone estimated to kill around 19,000 people every year in the United States - far more than HIV and AIDS - and a similar number in Europe.

        And others are spreading. Cases of totally drug resistant tuberculosis have appeared in recent years and a new wave of "super superbugs" with a mutation called NDM 1, which first emerged in India, has now turned up all over the world, from Britain to New Zealand.

        Last year the WHO said untreatable superbug strains of gonorrhoea were spreading across the world.

        Laura Piddock, a professor of microbiology at Birmingham University and director of the campaign group Antibiotic Action, welcomed Davies' efforts to raise awareness of the problem.

        "There are an increasing number of infections for which there are virtually no therapeutic options, and we desperately need new discovery, research and development," she said.

        Davies called on governments and organisations across the world, including the World Health Organisation and the G8, to take the threat seriously and work to encourage more innovation and investment into the development of antibiotics.

        "Over the past two decades there has been a discovery void around antibiotics, meaning diseases have evolved faster than the drugs to treat them," she said.

        Davies called for more cooperation between the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to preserve the existing arsenal of antibiotics, and more focus on developing new ones.

        Increasing surveillance to keep track of drug-resistant superbugs, prescribing fewer antibiotics and making sure they are only prescribed when needed, and ensuring better hygiene to keep infections to a minimum were equally important, she said.

        Nigel Brown, president of the Society for General Microbiology, agreed the issues demanded urgent action and said its members would work hard to better understand infectious diseases, reduce transmission of antibiotic resistance, and help develop new antibiotics.

        "The techniques of microbiology and new developments such as synthetic biology will be crucial in achieving this," he said. (Editing by Jason Webb)


        • #5
          Re: Healthier way!

          And the problem with antibiotics is made worse by GP's handing out scripts to patients willy nilly for things antibiotics are of no use for. Just to keep their patients happy, i have heard it many times..."i need to see the doc for some antibiotics for this bad cold".