[ExI] Forensic evidence emerges that European e.coli superbug was bioengineered to produce human fatalities

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 16:08:57 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 4:31 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki  wrote:
> ### There is no evidence that agricultural use of antibiotics caused
> selection of resistant strains. The concentrations of antibiotics used
> in animal feed are orders of magnitude lower than used in patients and
> are incapable of producing the levels of resistance observed in
> hospitals.

That's the point!  Low doses of antibiotics mean that the bacteria
that survive contain the genes that resist that antibiotic. It is a
policy designed to increase resistant strains in animals.

It is not correct to say that there is no evidence. Only US
agribusiness make that claim. The rest of the world doesn't.
March 30, 2011
We now have empirical data that should resolve this debate. Since 1995
Denmark has enforced progressively tighter rules on the use of
antibiotics in the raising of pigs, poultry and other livestock. In
the process, it has shown that it is possible to protect human health
without hurting farmers.

The data from multiple studies over the years support the conclusion
that low doses of antibiotics in animals increase the number of
drug-resistant microbes in both animals and people. As Joshua M.
Sharfstein, a principal deputy commissioner at the Food and Drug
Administration, told a U.S. congressional subcommittee last summer,
“You actually can trace the specific bacteria around and ... find that
the resistant strains in humans match the resistant strains in the
animals.” And this science is what led Denmark to stop subtherapeutic
dosing of chickens, pigs and other farm animals.

The American Medical Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of
America, the American Public Health Association, a previous FDA
commissioner and many others have advised the U.S. to follow suit.

> Multiple antibiotic resistance evolved in hospitals, was observed long
> before the initiation of agricultural use (within a few years of
> introduction of the first antibiotic), and it could have been largely
> prevented if pharma companies were able to forbid inappropriate use of
> their products (think treatment of sore throat).

Agreed, it is also a problem with over-prescription of antibiotics for
humans. Though not so much in hospitals as in your local doctor
prescribing for his patients. And even there it is not all the
doctor's fault. Patients are notorious for not following the
instructions to complete the whole course of tablets. As soon as they
feel better, they stop taking the tablets, thus leaving some resistant
bacteria still alive.


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