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United Kingdom Medicine Science

UK Milk Supply Contains New MRSA Strain 179

Tests on milk from several different farms across the U.K. have turned up evidence for a new strain of MRSA — bacteria which have evolved resistance to common antibiotics. As long as the milk is properly pasteurized, it poses no threat to consumers, but anyone working directly with the animals bears a small risk of infection. According to The Independent, "The disclosure comes amid growing concern over the use of modern antibiotics on British farms, driven by price pressure imposed by the big supermarket chains. Intensive farming with thousands of animals raised in cramped conditions means infections spread faster and the need for antibiotics is consequently greater. Three classes of antibiotics rated as 'critically important to human medicine' by the World Health Organization – cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and macrolides – have increased in use in the animal population by eightfold in the last decade."
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UK Milk Supply Contains New MRSA Strain

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  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @03:06PM (#42396857)

    With an ever increasing pressure to drop prices so that the numbers in the next quarter (or, for the long-term corporate leaders, next 2 years) are met. Screw the fact that we're raising a whole class of nasty bugs that will enable us to relive the glory of pre-penicillin times, when something as simple as a cut meant possible amputation of the affected limb.

    Antibiotic resistance is probably one of the worst things we're facing down in the coming century or so, right next to AGC. Both have the ability to have a tremendous negative impact on our lives, and both are a long time off - in other words, they are things no politician or corporate owner will want to touch while they're still working.

  • Growth promotors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @03:07PM (#42396863)

    Big agribusiness preemptively pumping their animals full of antibiotics to kill off their gut flora as "growth promotors", which packing them in like sardines, to make a quick buck -- a hack to make the animals bigger and more productive, but also to compensate for the filth and squalor the beknighted creatures are kept in...

    What could _possibly_ go wrong?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @03:55PM (#42397309)

    Pound for pound the Earth can, and has, sustained a much larger mammalian population than your "unworthy of life" humans

    No doubt it has, and the planet has probably supported a larger biomass in the form of reptiles at other points in its history.
    But hey, don't you see, the problem with the current human 'infestation' is that it has, by and large, put itself beyond the normal 'control mechanisms' the ecosystem of the planet has evolved to deal with the uncontrolled dominance of a single species.
    We don't take the hint, we try and heal our sick, feed our starving, keep our old living beyond their 'useful' lifespans, wipe out diseases that 'threaten' us, we don't know nor accept that that all these things (disease, famine, senescence) are there for our (as a species) own good, and we should accept all these things as being an inevitable part of the great circle of life, etc. etc.

    We're buggers that way for ignoring shit like this, and long may we remain doing least, until the next big bloody asteroid comes a callin'.

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @04:10PM (#42397465) Homepage

    And yet few want to talk about the root problem here. Too many humans.

    Every time I hear someone utter this type of rhetoric I can't help but to think they are suicidal or homicidal maniacs.

    Pound for pound the Earth can, and has, sustained a much larger mammalian population than your "unworthy of life" humans.

    Homo industrialis has a much bigger environmental footprint that any dinosaur, whale or large mammal created. That said, other animals and plants have significantly changed the environment in the past to the detriment of some organisms and advantage of others. Shit happens.

  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @04:22PM (#42397583) Journal
    The same thing is happening in the US (not MRSA in milk specifically, but antibiotics are a standard part of cow chow [])
  • Re:Drop Milk (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @05:50PM (#42398453)


    If milk was in the traditional diet of anyone but us Whites, you wouldn't be so quick to say it should be dropped. Protect everyone else, but fuck us, right?

    Milk is perfectly natural and healthy (for people with the gene to digest it, i.e. mostly Whites), and has evidently been part of our diet for thousands of years.

  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @09:13PM (#42400177)

    Even if we assume that the market forces are able to work in Adam Smith's idealized way, market forces have to obey the laws of physics. Math is also a bitch to work around.

    In other words, the free market is not a silver bullet even in the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, it is a botched free market that will prevent us from finding a workable solution. And we are far closer to a botched free market than a perfect free market. Draw your own conclusions.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer