Animals living in large numbers on factory farms are given large amounts of antibiotics to prevent spread of disease. This has been implicated in rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria that render common antibiotics ineffective when used in humans. I’ve written about this a number of times but not in recent years. It’s an important issue that has not gone away.
In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois report that some genes found in hog waste lagoons are transferred — ‘like batons’ — from one bacterial species to another. And these bacteria with antibiotic genes were found in groundwater and wells.
See also: Factory Farms, Bird Flu and Global Warming
4 thoughts on “Hog Waste and Rise in Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria”
The mechanism is called ‘horizontal genetic transfer’ and it has been studied for quite some time. I have a related story on my blog that may be of interest:
And several others on public health:
yuck. i hate these stories. despite the advances we make with organic, slow food, clean food, smart living and all, there is so much stuff going on like this that makes me feel one step forward and two steps back.
[…] about the significant public health consequences of hog confinements. Environmental journalist Stephen Leahy outlines a new threat from the […]
Organic definitely offers advantages – including better tasting food. This story really made the point for me: https://stephenleahy.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/overweight-hungry-blame-hollow-food/