A whopping 96% of Tyson and 43% of Perdue chickens have beenfound to contain the dangerous drug-resistant bacteriaCampylobacter while only 5% Eberle and 13% of Bell and Evanschickens showed signs of the presence of the bacterium.
According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins BloombergSchool of Public Health, this is likely due to the use ofantibiotics in the raising of the chickens. Campylobacter isresponsible for an estimated 2.4 million cases of foodpoisoning a year in the US.
Producers claim that the use of antibiotics makes theirproducts safer, but the truth is the opposite, which hasbeen amply proved by numerous scientific studies that showthat the use of antibiotics in food production fosters thespread of drug-resistant bacteria.
Brands that do not use antibiotics in production are no morelikely to contaqin Campylobacter than those that do. Infact, Eberlel, with the lowest Campylobacter measurement, isan antibiotic free brand.
In 2000, the Food and Drug Administration proposed towithdraw approval for fluoroquinolone drugs, but BayerPharmaceuticals, the manufacturer, has tied the new rule upin court.
In 2002, Tyson and Perdue both announced that they wouldstop using the drugs in their chickens. However, dangerouslevels of Campylobacter have continued to be present intheir flocks, meaning either that they are still usingantibiotics or that it takes a signficant period of time forCampylobacter to stop contaminating flocks afterfluoroquinolone use ends.
Aside from not buying Tyson and Perdue chickens, what canyou do? Most important, clean all preparation areas and washhands carefully after preparation with soap. Then make surethat there are no pink areas in the chicken when it isserved. It must be fully cooked for safety.
This report is based on the study “Fluoroquinolone-ResistantCampylobacter Isolates from Conventional and Antibiotic-FreeChicken Products” in the publication Environmental HealthPerspectives.
Another way to avoid dangerous foods is to change your diet.Take a look at Carnie Wilson’s I’m StillHungry.
Anne’s great Mysterious Powers interview with Carnie is stillavailable tosubscribers.
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