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Pork Problems

It isn't just pork from China that's the problem?the death of a doctor in Indiana that has been traced to a superbug on a huge pork farm is worrying scientists. These pigs are fed antibiotics, which promotes the growth of superbugs in pork and beef.

In the March 12th edition of the New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof tells the story of family physician Tom Anderson, who investigated a mysterious skin disease that started showing up in his patients a year ago: huge, painful welts on their skin. When he cultured then and sent them to a lab, the results came back as MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, which is usually found only in hospitals.

Recent data suggests that about 18,000 Americans are dying from MRSA infections every year. This is more than the number of people in the US who die from AIDS.

Was the superbug transferred by people who worked on the hog farm to the other ordinary citizens with whom these people came into contact? The exact method of transmission is not yet known, but it's pretty certain it all started with the practice of feeding antibiotics to livestock?a practice which should be outlawed.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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