Monday, June 13, 2011

Antibiotic resistance and corporate agriculture

So, over the weekend, Nicholas Kristof wrote a nice piece in the New York Times in which he laid out the basic facts and statistics regarding the cavalier use of antibiotics in agriculture. His column is full of interesting (i.e., depressing) figures, one of the most striking of which is that the agricultural use of antibiotics in the state of North Carolina exceeds the medical use of antibiotics for the entire United States.

Anyway, the basic punchline is this: when someone in your family is hospitalized or killed by some food-borne, antibiotic-resistant pathogen, you can thank the huge agricultural corporations and the millions of lobbyist dollars they have spent blocking food-safety legislation.

Happy eating!

These full-page comics come out badly here on the blog, so to see a more readable version, go to the Darwin Eats Cake website.
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Sørensen SJ, Bailey M, Hansen LH, Kroer N, & Wuertz S (2005). Studying plasmid horizontal transfer in situ: a critical review. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 3 (9), 700-10 PMID: 16138098

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