March 11, 2011

Drugs in the Farm Animals, Collapsing Bees, and a Sad Arrest

Short and sweet, but very important items to highlight here.

First, a writer who is doing amazing work at the moment is Maryn McKenna, whose book Superbug I hope to read fairly soon. McKenna has a great post on Wired about the link between antibiotic use in farm animals meant for human consumption and antibiotic resistance in humans. It's about a study showing that....

Chickens, chicken meat and humans in the Netherlands are carrying identical, highly drug-resistant E. coli — resistance that is apparently moving from poultry raised with antibiotics, to humans, via food.

At least one member of Congress is taking the issue seriously, microbiologist and House representative from Connecticut, Louise Slaughter, who reintroduced legislation that would ban the practice of giving healthy farm animals antibiotics.

In related news, Smithfield, #1 pork purveyor and factory farm trend setter, has apparently produced a series of videos aimed at countering the intense criticism the company has come under from some quarters. The videos are, to nobody's surprise (and certainly not to BNET's Melanie Warner), full of s@#$...

Do go read. And here's a picture to whet your... well, I guess that's not the best phrase to use here...

And an issue that sort of fell off the public radar but is still as dangerous as ever, honey bee colony collapse.

The authors, who include some of the world's leading honey-bee experts, issue a stark warning about the disappearance of bees, which are increasingly important as crop pollinators around the globe.

In short, honey bees = major pollinators. No honey bees, crops don't grow = no food.

Finally, for fans of (the best show ever) The Wire, this is sad news. Seems that old habits are hard to break.

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, 30, is among 64 people charged in a joint state-federal prosecution of a large east Baltimore drug gang. She is charged in state court with conspiring with two men to distribute heroin and aiding and abetting.

Pearson also played "Snoop" in The Wire, serving as a right-hand man... er, woman... for a drug kingpin. I believe she was one of several recurring characters on the show who, in the real world, had lived the life they was portraying on screen. Sad.

No comments: