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Originally published February 6 2008

Honeybees and Almonds, Pigs and MRSA: The Deadly Connections

by Herb Newborg

(NaturalNews) The New York Times recently reported a highly probable direct link between our unsustainable system of modern industrial agriculture and two recently emerging phenomena that threaten us all. The author makes the very logical connection between the recent epidemic of MRSA (an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus bacteria) which is now killing more Americans each year than AIDS (100,000 infections leading to 19,000 deaths in 2005 alone, according to estimates in The Journal of the American Medical Association) and the deplorable conditions that exist in the CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) in the US and other countries.

Hospital acquired MRSA has been a long standing problem among health care workers and hospital patients, but this new, more virulent strain known as "community acquired MRSA" is killing young and otherwise healthy people who have not been to a hospital in ever increasing numbers. Community acquired MRSA is resistant to precisely the class of antibiotics used by our nation's factory farming operations.

It has been estimated that 70% of the antibiotics used in the US are fed to feedlot animals on factory farms, which is the only way to keep these animals alive in the confined filth and squalor in which they "live". Recent European and Canadian studies have confirmed that pig farms are a breeding ground for MRSA. The study in Europe reveals that 60 percent of pig farms that routinely used antibiotics had MRSA-positive pigs (compared with 5 percent of farms that did not feed pigs antibiotics). The Canadian study in Veterinary Microbiology reports that MRSA was found on 45 percent of the 20 pig farms sampled in Ontario, and in 20 percent of the pig farmers (people can harbor the bacteria without being infected by it). Under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) pigs flow freely between Canada and the United States. But pigs are far from the only animals given massive amounts of antibiotics and flowing freely across our borders. Cattle, chicken, fish and all other factory farmed animals are susceptible to this same issue. But with pigs, it is well documented.

The author correctly states: "As for independent public-health researchers, they say they can't study the problem without the cooperation of the livestock industry, which, not surprisingly, has not been forthcoming. For what if these researchers should find proof that one of the hidden costs of cheap meat is an epidemic of drug-resistant infection among young people? There would be calls to revolutionize the way we produce meat in this country. This is not something that the meat and the pharmaceutical industries or their respective regulatory "watchdogs" - the Department of Agriculture and F.D.A. - are in any rush to see happen."

The author also discusses the mass deaths of large portions (20-80%) of honeybee populations due to a syndrome recently named "Colony Collapse Disorder". The culprit is thought to be a virus, pesticides or a parasitic mite. It turns out the largest concentration of honeybees occurs, unnaturally, every year in the California Central Valley, home to the orchards that produce 80% of the world's almonds.

Since there are not enough bees to pollinate all of the flowers in the orchards to ensure a plentiful almond harvest, about 40 billion bees are trucked in from all over the country for a three week period in February to do the job. Since many of these bees come from areas where they would normally be dormant and to get them ready for cross country travel, the bees are fed special "pollen patties" (a mix of High Fructose Corn Syrup and flower pollen imported from China). Since 2005, the USDA has even allowed bees to be flown in from Australia for the big "pollination event".

So the bees, jacked up on High Fructose Corn Syrup and Chinese flower pollen, go about pollinating the world's almond crop. And in the process they swap every pesticide, microbe, parasite, virus and mutation thereof among the 40 billion strong swarm. They are then loaded up and shipped back from whence they came, mutant viruses, parasites and pesticides in tow.

Not only do we now have a very probable explanation for "Colony Collapse Disorder", it is entirely possible that the new rules by the Almond Board of California (ABC) and backed by the USDA to mandate the pasteurization of all California almonds were necessitated by this unnatural practice of providing free travel service to every virus, parasite and agricultural toxin in the country. Perhaps the pasteurization mandate is just a temporary stop gap measure against the next emerging MRSA-like mutated superbug.

About the author

Herb Newborg is president at Chiropractic America. Chiropractic America and Ogilvy PR Worldwide firm, Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH), have developed along with a national marketing communications program to educate patients about the importance of spinal health and better align the chiropractic profession with consumer healthcare and wellness issues. FKH is a nationally-recognized leader in healthcare communications and public relations. Chiropractic America leverages FKH’s extensive healthcare experience to elevate public awareness and perception of chiropractic and ultimately drive informed and motivated patients to chiropractors nationwide.
Our mission is to educate consumers about the important role their spine plays in their overall health. We communicate the role chiropractors play in maintaining health by maintaining the integrity of the spine and nerve system. Well-educated, informed patients are equipped with the knowledge to take control of their health.

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