Who is ensuring your food is safe?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dear Editor:

There has been a lot of publicity of late about the increased occurrence of antibiotic resistant staph infections, known as MRSA. This is described as a "superbug" that causes staph infections, which are difficult to treat and can result in the loss of limbs and life.

Recently at least 10 reputable medical studies have reported that antibiotic overuse in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) helps to breed MRSA. Organizations such as the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons have called for a moratorium on building any new CAFOs in Missouri until the hazards to the health and welfare of Missouri citizens can be resolved and citizen safety can be reasonably assured.
Currently, we hear nothing about safety measures to prevent MRSA in these crowded meat factories. The workers in these meat factories are potentially exposed to these superbugs and in turn can expose the rest of the community.
What is the state doing to inspect these meat factories and stop the breeding of deadly antibiotic-resistant staph germs? Readers should be disturbed to find that apparently little if anything is being done to protect them from this threat.
If the idea of antibiotic resistant superbugs doesn't concern you, how about recent studies that show a direct link between the increased incidence of avian flu (bird flu) and poultry CAFOs? There is an excellent article in the December-January issue of "Mother Earth News" on this subject. In the February-March issue there is another article on the hormones and antibiotics in beef.

As you continue to educate yourself about how your food is raised, you will realize that there is no agency out there ensuring that your food is safe to eat. It is up to you to push for a safe food supply.


Kathy Casey

Exeter, Missouri