Tuesday, June 07, 2011


I received an email today claiming that the current e coli outbreak in Europe is the result of a purposely manufactured, resistant strain of e coli. An attached article stated:

“virtually no one is talking about how e coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.”

And asks the question:

“So how, exactly, does a bacterial strain come into existence that’s resistant to over a dozen antibiotics in eight different drug classes?”

Well that the first statement is not exactly the truth and the question can be easily answered.

I read an article on the weekend about the rise in bacteria in food caused by the "recycling" of human waste as fertilizer (supposedly treated to be made safe). It also pointed out the presence of antibiotics in the human waste which has passed through the digestive tracts of countless thousands of people. Therefore we have e coli being exposed to a great variety of antibiotics and gaining resistance over time.

The waste is used for food crops; the resistant e coli infects the food and thereafter the eaters.

No conspiracy needed just stupidity, carelessness and greed.


Darren (Green Change) said...

A big factor is also the use of "prophylactic antibiotics" in factory farmed meat. These are antibiotics given to animals to prevent them getting sick, rather than to cure anything. It's done because it makes the animals put on weight faster, and it allows them to survive in the squalid conditions.

Over time, bacteria breed up that are resistant to the antibiotics used. If those same antibiotics are used to treat a human infection arising from eating that meat after mishandling (which they often are), then they're not going to be effective at all.

Onesimus said...

Hi Darren,
Are you trying to say there's ANOTHER sensible explanation that makes more sense than "purposely manufactured resistant" ecoli claims? :)