Agriculture

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Agriculture

Salmonella Poisoning Is Rampant

A recent article in MMWR Weekly with the unassuming title of “Preliminary FoodNet Data on the Incidence of Infection with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food — 10 States, 2008” is incredibly disturbing.

The Ethicurean has a superb interview with author Maryn McKenna about MRSA and agriculture. In the interview, the following question about MRSA transmission was asked:

I recently wrote about the introduction in the House of the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). This is a really critical piece of legislation that could put a dent in the evolution of resistance. Now, there’s more good news.

A small bill could have huge implications for preventing the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Every couple of years, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) is offered for consideration. Two weeks ago, Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter proposed PAMTA again for consideration. Here are the key provisions ofthe proposed bill:

Always listen to the Mad Biologist. By way of Joe Windish at The Moderate Voice, we find out, just as I predicted, that the pork lobby would claim we don’t know enough about the MRSA ST398 problem: Livestock scientists call the opinion piece “highly speculative”, and point to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

Always listen to the Mad Biologist. By way of Joe Windish at The Moderate Voice, we find out, just as I predicted, that the pork lobby would claim we don’t know enough about the MRSA ST398 problem: Livestock scientists call the opinion piece “highly speculative”, and point to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

I’m always loath to criticize mainstream discussions of the antibiotic resistance, particularly when the link between antibiotic use in agriculture and antibiotic resistance is raised. But, while NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof meant well, he missed the mark.

Piggy MRSA Makes the NY Times

Nicholas Kristof has an interesting op-ed in the NY Times about the relationship between pig farming and MRSA. I’ll be curious to see what he writes about in his next column, since he says, “This is a system that may help breed virulent “superbugs” that pose a public health threat to us all. That’ll be…

More on Vertical Farming

I’ve written about urban-based, vertical farming before. I recently stumbled across this website, The Vertical Farm, that describes vertical farming some more. It also has cool pictures like this:

MRSA ST398: It’s All Tara’s Fault…

I’m kidding, but ScienceBlogling Tara Smith has co-authored a PLoS One article about the emergence of the MRSA strain ST398 in Iowan pork farms. Pig farms are a tremendous reservoir of bacteria: as far as I can tell, there are about six pigs for every person in Iowa.