Gene Allowing Bacteria to Withstand Last-Resort Antibiotic Found in US for First Time.

Preface by: Roger Landry (TLB)

As a result of broken corporate promises and over use of products such as Glyphosate (herbicide), and the Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) gene inserted in GMO crops (pesticide), we have inadvertently created insects and weeds that can just about eat these poisons/toxins for lunch.

These abominations created outside of nature are justifiably called Super Bugs, and Super Weeds! This is necessitating a massive increased use of these known toxins to human physiology and the biosphere to a point that is triggering loud outcries from global scientific experts on the increasing impact on both!

But obviously it does not stop there …

The attached article brings to your attention the massive overuse of antibiotics in human patients and large corporate farm environments commonly called factory farms.

Just as the massive overuse of antibiotics in humans has caused the creation of bacteria and viruses that have built immunity to all but the strongest (last resort) antibiotics … extreme overuse in factory farm environments has facilitated the rise of super bacteria/viruses capable of surviving even the strongest of antibiotics.

It is safe to say that antibiotics are prescribed to us at the drop of a hat and in large doses, and this has been going on for generations. Well it would seem this scenario is nearing its end as is the parallel scenario related to the food we consume (chicken, beef, pork etc…). We can easily see how this has come about on the human side of this scenario, but what about the animal/farm factor?

The need for such mechanisms such as antibiotics in a farm environment in the first place is brought about in large part by the horrible conditions these animals are subjected to over their short lifespan such as cramped and filthy living conditions that breed harmful bacteria and germs. So Rather than decrease the crowding, and cleaning up the living areas (that would cost money cutting back on profit), these animals are subjected to massive amounts of antibiotics to kill off the harmful bacteria/viruses.

Well that obviously flawed scenario seems to have run its course with the rise of said Super Bacteria/viruses. Our personal health is now in serious danger due to not only the lack of effectiveness of antibiotics in treating human patients … but also in their inability to keep these super bacteria/viruses from infesting our food supply.

From my perspective it would seem that humanity is doing everything possible to drive itself into extinction, spurred on by the greed and lust for power demonstrated daily by the Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Biotech, and Military industrial complexes, and unchecked (in most cases supported) by the very governments we elect to serve and protect us!

So the one million dollar question is … Where do we go from here ???

Please continue reading the attached article.


Gene That Allows Bacteria to Fight Off Last Resort Drug Found in U.S. for First Time, Underscoring the Need to Stop Antibiotic Misuse in Livestock

By: Carmen Cordova

Recently, news emerged that a gene which allows disease-causing bacteria to withstand colistin—an antibiotic used as a last-resort when all other antibiotics fail—was found in the United States for the first time.  The problem gene was found both in E. coli from a patient in Pennsylvania and in a sample taken from pig killed at a slaughter house.

In January, NRDC released an analysis showing the colistin resistance gene (known as mcr-1) is rapidly spreading around the world in meat, on animals and in humans. Today’s news adds one more country to the growing list.

The U.S. discoveries of the mcr-1 gene in the patient and the pig are both troubling:

The discovery in human sample from Pennsylvania is troubling because the mcr-1 gene is on a shareable piece of DNA, which also carries seven other genes that confer resistance to other antibiotics. The use of antibiotics associated with any of these resistance genes can result in bacteria sharing and spreading all eight resistance traits. This example highlights that antibiotic resistance is a complex problem and simply reducing use of one particular antibiotic isn’t enough. Because of the biology of bacteria and the way that they can collect and share groups of resistance traits, overusing one antibiotic can cause collateral damage, spreading resistance to other antibiotics that weren’t used in the first place.

The patient from Pennsylvania hadn’t been traveling in the past few months, so scientists are unsure where she picked up the colistin-resistant E. coli, but it’s likely the bug has been in the U.S. for a little while. Since bacteria don’t stay put, it’s also very likely that the colistin-resistant E. coli has also already moved on to other communities, animals, and people.

The discovery in the pig is troubling for different reasons.  The mcr-1 gene was found in a pig intestine sample that was collected through NARMS (National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System), a program that tests resistance in bacteria from animals, people, and retail meat. Because NARMS only samples a few hundred of all the hogs slaughtered in the U.S. (100 million in 2014), the fact that we have detected the mcr-1 gene in swine at all means that it’s not likely to be at low levels. As with the human sample, the colistin-resistance in the pig sample is also grouped with other resistance genes on a shareable piece of DNA, allowing colistin resistance to be spread because of the use of antibiotics other than colistin.

Both discoveries underscore why curbing antibiotic use in livestock production is critical to keeping our life-saving antibiotics, like colistin, working when we need them.

More than 70 percent of antibiotics important for human medicine sold in the U.S. are actually sold for use in livestock—often for routine growth promotion and disease prevention in animals that are not sick. To change that, we need action from our government leaders and the food industry.

The Obama administration’s new National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria sets a target for reduction of human use of antibiotics and for data collection and reporting on antibiotic use in hospitals and outpatient setting. This year hospitals in the U.S. have begun to report their antibiotic use to the CDC in an attempt to gather more information and best target education efforts to those overprescribing. Yet, nothing close to these objectives is being attempted to track antibiotic use in animal agriculture, where the vast majority of these antibiotics are being used. FDA and USDA should set targets for reducing agricultural antibiotic use and must stop dragging their feet on collecting better data on such antibiotic use to inform action to protect public health.

In the absence of federal action, NRDC and our allies have focused on advancing change through state policy and the marketplace.

Last year, California enacted a first-in-the nation law, which bans the regular use of antibiotics in livestock and requires the state to collect data on antibiotic use on farms.

In the marketplace, NRDC and others have been waging successful efforts to encourage the meat and restaurant industries to adopt better antibiotics policies. As a result, fast food giants like McDonald’s, Subway, Chick-Fil-A and Taco Bell—as well as some of the nation’s largest chicken producers like Tyson, Perdue and Foster Farms—have committed to improving their antibiotics practices.

Leading public health authorities like the CDC and World Health Organization are clear: If we don’t stop abusing antibiotics, we will continue to see them fail when we need them most. Today’s news is a sobering signal that that reality is closer than many may realize, and there’s no time to delay. We need both industry and our leaders in Washington to take swift action to ensure we can continue to rely on our miracle drugs.

About the Author

Carmen Cordova

NRDC Staff Scientist, Food & Agriculture program.



TLB recommends you visit NRDC for more pertinent articles and information.

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