Factory Farm Workers Carry Dangerous Bacteria

The New York Times is highlighting a study of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is hitching a ride on hog farm employees in North Carolina, raising concerns for public health officials.

The author explains, “Although the bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, is common and does not always cause illness, it can contaminate food and give rise to skin infections and respiratory diseases. Its methicillin-resistant variation, known as MRSA, has wreaked havoc on hospital systems, causing life-threatening complications.

The study, reported in a recent issue of the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that 10 of the 22 workers who were tested carried this potentially deadly bacteria. The Times further states that “86 percent of the workers in the study carried the S. aureus bacteria, compared with about one-third of the population at large, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In factory farms, where antibiotics are used to make animals grow faster and to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them, bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics, making it virtually impossible to treat humans who become infected by these “superbugs.”

The best way to stave off superbugs is to boycott the industry that’s helping create them. Transitioning to a diet free of animal products is easy, healthy, and delicious. For more information, visit ChooseVeg.com.