Monday, March 16, 2009

Kristof Attacks Agriculture, Again

Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health

The late Tom Anderson, the family doctor in this little farm town in northwestern Indiana, at first was puzzled, then frightened.

He began seeing strange rashes on his patients, starting more than a year ago. They began as innocuous bumps — “pimples from hell,” he called them — and quickly became lesions as big as saucers, fiery red and agonizing to touch.

They could be anywhere, but were most common on the face, armpits, knees and buttocks. Dr. Anderson took cultures and sent them off to a lab, which reported that they were MRSA, or staph infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

Dr. Anderson at first couldn’t figure out why he was seeing patient after patient with MRSA in a small Indiana town. And then he began to wonder about all the hog farms outside of town. Could the pigs be incubating and spreading the disease? Read More

Through out the article Kristof says that he has no evidence that MRSA is related to the hog farms. He also says that no one else does either, yet he goes to great lengths to convince the reader that there is some sort of conspiracy happening in agriculture to cover this up. As with a lot of people these days, he wants to throw science under the bus in favor of emotion and conspiracy theories. I also find it laughable that in every article Kristof writes about ag, he has to refernce that he grew up on a farm. I’m sorry, but his childhood from 40 years ago doesn’t give him the ability to talk with any type of authority on disease origin or transmission, or modern livestock production. Kristof is a Michael Pollan wannabe that has realized he can make a name for himself by trying to spread fear about our agriculture and the food we produce.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

There is much in what you say about the article. There were flaws. He could have done much better, but that there is a problem that needs attention in undeniable.

I have spent almost decade on this disaster, day after day: there at the beginning, with pigs and in pig country when the horror story started.

We decided on a self-sufficient lifestyle and walked into a nightmare.

There is little doubt that MRSA in pigs has been leaking into the hospitals for some years.

There was a nasty mutation to a porcine circovirus in Britain in 1999 which caused an epidemic that required huge quantities of antibiotics to handle the consequences.

MRSA in pigs was the result, usually the ST398 strain.

The Dutch picked up the problem about four years ago and commendably make everything they knew public.

Both circovirus and MRSA epidemics have now travelled the world along with accompanying cover-ups. It is quite a nasty situation - now coming to light in the USA.

MRSA st398, mutated circovirus and various other unpleasant zoonotic diseases have now reached American pig farms.

The people exposing the scandal in the US are to be commended.

I have extensive records available to anyone researching the link and can often answer general questions quickly and accurately.

Pat Gardiner
Release the results of testing British pigs for MRSA and C.Diff now! and