US Meat Is Teeming With Superbugs: Report
More than half of samples were contaminated: government study
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2013 8:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2013 1:44 PM CDT
This Jan. 18, 2010 file photo shows steaks and other beef products displayed for sale at a grocery store in McLean, Va.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

(Newser) Horse meat-tainted beef? We should be so lucky. US meat is rife with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or "superbugs," according to a government study released in February that's just now getting attention. The data hails from 2011, and is the result of testing on ground turkey, pork chops, ground beef, and chicken available at supermarkets; more than half of the samples taken were contaminated with superbugs like salmonella and E. coli. The New York Times reports that this represents a "sizable increase."

For example, of all salmonella found on raw chicken, 74% was resistant to antibiotics, while in 2002, less than 50% was. The findings are sure to increase the backlash against the use of antibiotics in animals raised for meat, but vets who work with the International Food Information Council (which gets money from major food companies) and the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (which gets money from veterinary pharmaceutical companies) say the report used small sample sizes and is misleading. Another disturbing finding: All in all, 87% of the meat tested contained some sort of fecal contamination, either normal or antibiotic-resistant.

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Apr 23, 2013 10:00 PM CDT
What we have here is gross negligence by meat processors. If the owners of these meat processing plants were in China, they would be shot, their bodies ground up and fed to pigs. We have much to learn from the West.
Apr 23, 2013 3:40 AM CDT
Teeming with superbugs? Must be a CIA operation.
Apr 22, 2013 11:06 AM CDT
Government study???? If the FDA was so good at protecting the citizens, how does this happen??? I say we get rid of all the government protection agencies so we can get decent food again. It seems every government agency that claims to protect the citizens are the same ones killing us. And why do they take it upon themselves to ban anything Natural, when that is the solution to their problem?? Government has been doing everything against the citizens of the USA, so why do we pay them to do us more harm?? If we didn't have all this big government we would have less expense to tax payers, just shut down the Federal government and let the State governments worry what's for the best interests of its citizens. Then we will have local powers under our control where we can keep an eye on them.