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Read this and you may never eat chicken again (What is still safe to eat?)

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Maryn McKenna, The Guardian  /  October 13, 2017

Most meat animals are raised with the assistance of daily doses of antibiotics. By 2050, antibiotic resistance will cause a staggering 10 million deaths a year

Every year I spend some time in a tiny apartment in Paris, seven stories above the mayor’s offices for the 11th arrondissement. The Place de la Bastille – the spot where the French revolution sparked political change that transformed the world – is a 10-minute walk down a narrow street that threads between student nightclubs and Chinese fabric wholesalers.

Twice a week, hundreds of Parisians crowd down it, heading to the marché de la Bastille, stretched out along the center island of the Boulevard Richard Lenoir.

Blocks before you reach the market, you can hear it: a low hum of argument and chatter, punctuated by dollies thumping over the curbstones and vendors shouting deals. But even before you hear it, you can smell it: the funk of bruised cabbage leaves underfoot, the sharp sweetness of fruit sliced open for samples, the iodine tang of seaweed propping up rafts of scallops in broad rose-colored shells.

Threaded through them is one aroma that I wait for. Burnished and herbal, salty and slightly burned, it has so much heft that it feels physical, like an arm slid around your shoulders to urge you to move a little faster. It leads to a tented booth in the middle of the market and a line of customers that wraps around the tent poles and trails down the market alley, tangling with the crowd in front of the flower seller.

In the middle of the booth is a closet-size metal cabinet, propped up on iron wheels and bricks. Inside the cabinet, flattened chickens are speared on rotisserie bars that have been turning since before dawn. Every few minutes, one of the workers detaches a bar, slides off its dripping bronze contents, slips the chickens into flat foil-lined bags, and hands them to the customers who have persisted to the head of the line.

I can barely wait to get my chicken home.

The skin of a poulet crapaudine – named because its spatchcocked outline resembles a crapaud, a toad – shatters like mica; the flesh underneath, basted for hours by the birds dripping on to it from above, is pillowy but springy, imbued to the bone with pepper and thyme.

The first time I ate it, I was stunned into happy silence, too intoxicated by the experience to process why it felt so new. The second time, I was delighted again –and then, afterward, sulky and sad.

I had eaten chicken all my life: in my grandmother’s kitchen in Brooklyn, in my parents’ house in Houston, in a college dining hall, friends’ apartments, restaurants and fast food places, trendy bars in cities and old-school joints on back roads in the south. I thought I roasted a chicken pretty well myself. But none of them were ever like this, mineral and lush and direct.

I thought of the chickens I’d grown up eating. They tasted like whatever the cook added to them: canned soup in my grandmother’s fricassee, her party dish; soy sauce and sesame in the stir fries my college housemate brought from her aunt’s restaurant; lemon juice when my mother worried about my father’s blood pressure and banned salt from the house.

This French chicken tasted like muscle and blood and exercise and the outdoors. It tasted like something that it was too easy to pretend it was not: like an animal, like a living thing. We have made it easy not to think about what chickens were before we find them on our plates or pluck them from supermarket cold cases.

I live, most of the time, less than an hour’s drive from Gainesville, Georgia, the self-described poultry capital of the world, where the modern chicken industry was born. Georgia raises 1.4bn broilers a year, making it the single biggest contributor to the almost 9bn birds raised each year in the United States; if it were an independent country, it would rank in chicken production somewhere near China and Brazil.

Yet you could drive around for hours without ever knowing you were in the heart of chicken country unless you happened to get behind a truck heaped with crates of birds on their way from the remote solid-walled barns they are raised in to the gated slaughter plants where they are turned into meat. That first French market chicken opened my eyes to how invisible chickens had been for me, and after that, my job began to show me what that invisibility had masked.

My house is less than two miles from the front gate of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal agency that sends disease detectives racing to outbreaks all over the world. For more than a decade, one of my obsessions as a journalist has been following them on their investigations – and in long late-night conversations in the United States and Asia and Africa, with physicians and veterinarians and epidemiologists, I learned that the chickens that had surprised me and the epidemics that fascinated me were more closely linked than I had ever realized.

I discovered that the reason American chicken tastes so different from those I ate everywhere else was that in the United States, we breed for everything but flavor: for abundance, for consistency, for speed. Many things made that transformation possible.

But as I came to understand, the single biggest influence was that, consistently over decades, we have been feeding chickens, and almost every other meat animal, routine doses of antibiotics on almost every day of their lives.

Antibiotics do not create blandness, but they created the conditions that allowed chicken to be bland, allowing us to turn a skittish, active backyard bird into a fast-growing, slow-moving, docile block of protein, as muscle-bound and top-heavy as a bodybuilder in a kids’ cartoon. At this moment, most meat animals, across most of the planet, are raised with the assistance of doses of antibiotics on most days of their lives: 63,151 tons of antibiotics per year, about 126 million pounds.

Farmers began using the drugs because antibiotics allowed animals to convert feed to tasty muscle more efficiently; when that result made it irresistible to pack more livestock into barns, antibiotics protected animals against the likelihood of disease. Those discoveries, which began with chickens, created “what we choose to call industrialized agriculture”, a poultry historian living in Georgia proudly wrote in 1971.

Chicken prices fell so low that it became the meat that Americans eat more than any other – and the meat most likely to transmit food-borne illness, and also antibiotic resistance, the greatest slow-brewing health crisis of our time.

For most people, antibiotic resistance is a hidden epidemic unless they have the misfortune to contract an infection themselves or have a family member or friend unlucky enough to become infected.

Drug-resistant infections have no celebrity spokespeople, negligible political support and few patients’ organizations advocating for them. If we think of resistant infections, we imagine them as something rare, occurring to people unlike us, whoever we are: people who are in nursing homes at the end of their lives, or dealing with the drain of chronic illness, or in intensive-care units after terrible trauma. But resistant infections are a vast and common problem that occur in every part of daily life: to children in daycare, athletes playing sports, teens going for piercings, people getting healthy in the gym.

And though common, resistant bacteria are a grave threat and getting worse.

They are responsible for at least 700,000 deaths around the world each year: 23,000 in the United States, 25,000 in Europe, more than 63,000 babies in India. Beyond those deaths, bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics cause millions of illnesses – 2 million annually in the United States alone – and cost billions in healthcare spending, lost wages and lost national productivity.

It is predicted that by 2050, antibiotic resistance will cost the world $100tn and will cause a staggering 10m deaths per year.

Disease organisms have been developing defenses against the antibiotics meant to kill them for as long as antibiotics have existed. Penicillin arrived in the 1940s, and resistance to it swept the world in the 1950s.

Tetracycline arrived in 1948, and resistance was nibbling at its effectiveness before the 1950s ended. Erythromycin was discovered in 1952, and erythromycin resistance arrived in 1955. Methicillin, a lab-synthesized relative of penicillin, was developed in 1960 specifically to counter penicillin resistance, yet within a year, staph bacteria developed defenses against it as well, earning the bug the name MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

After MRSA, there were the ESBLs, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases, which defeated not only penicillin and its relatives but also a large family of antibiotics called cephalosporins. And after cephalosporins were undermined, new antibiotics were achieved and lost in turn.

Each time pharmaceutical chemistry produced a new class of antibiotics, with a new molecular shape and a new mode of action, bacteria adapted. In fact, as the decades passed, they seemed to adapt faster than before. Their persistence threatened to inaugurate a post-antibiotic era, in which surgery could be too dangerous to attempt and ordinary health problems – scrapes, tooth extractions, broken limbs – could pose a deadly risk.

For a long time, it was assumed that the extraordinary unspooling of antibiotic resistance around the world was due only to misuse of the drugs in medicine: to parents begging for the drugs even though their children had viral illnesses that antibiotics could not help; physicians prescribing antibiotics without checking to see whether the drug they chose was a good match; people stopping their prescriptions halfway through the prescribed course because they felt better, or saving some pills for friends without health insurance, or buying antibiotics over the counter, in the many countries where they are available that way and dosing themselves.

But from the earliest days of the antibiotic era, the drugs have had another, parallel use: in animals that are grown to become food.

Eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States and more than half of those sold around the world are used in animals, not in humans. Animals destined to be meat routinely receive antibiotics in their feed and water, and most of those drugs are not given to treat diseases, which is how we use them in people.

Instead, antibiotics are given to make food animals put on weight more quickly than they would otherwise, or to protect food animals from illnesses that the crowded conditions of livestock production make them vulnerable to. And nearly two-thirds of the antibiotics that are used for those purposes are compounds that are also used against human illness – which means that when resistance against the farm use of those drugs arises, it undermines the drugs’ usefulness in human medicine as well.

Resistance is a defensive adaptation, an evolutionary strategy that allows bacteria to protect themselves against antibiotics’ power to kill them. It is created by subtle genetic changes that allow organisms to counter antibiotics’ attacks on them, altering their cell walls to keep drug molecules from attaching or penetrating, or forming tiny pumps that eject the drugs after they have entered the cell.

What slows the emergence of resistance is using an antibiotic conservatively: at the right dose, for the right length of time, for an organism that will be vulnerable to the drug, and not for any other reason. Most antibiotic use in agriculture violates those rules.

Resistant bacteria are the result.

Antibiotic resistance is like climate change: it is an overwhelming threat, created over decades by millions of individual decisions and reinforced by the actions of industries.

It is also like climate change in that the industrialized west and the emerging economies of the global south are at odds. One quadrant of the globe already enjoyed the cheap protein of factory farming and now regrets it; the other would like not to forgo its chance. And it is additionally like climate change because any action taken in hopes of ameliorating the problem feels inadequate, like buying a fluorescent lightbulb while watching a polar bear drown.

But that it seems difficult does not mean it is not possible. The willingness to relinquish antibiotics of farmers in the Netherlands, as well as Perdue Farms and other companies in the United States, proves that industrial-scale production can be achieved without growth promoters or preventive antibiotic use. The stability of Maïsadour and Loué and White Oak Pastures shows that medium-sized and small farms can secure a place in a remixed meat economy.

Whole Foods’ pivot to slower-growing chicken – birds that share some of the genetics preserved by Frank Reese – illustrates that removing antibiotics and choosing birds that do not need them returns biodiversity to poultry production. All of those achievements are signposts, pointing to where chicken, and cattle and hogs and farmed fish after them, need to go: to a mode of production where antibiotics are used as infrequently as possible – to care for sick animals, but not to fatten or protect them.

That is the way antibiotics are now used in human medicine, and it is the only way that the utility of antibiotics and the risk of resistance can be adequately balanced.

Excerpted from Big Chicken by Maryn McKenna published by National Geographic on 12 September 2017.

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Q&A: 'A chicken worth eating tastes like a chicken that had a life worth living'

The Guardian  /  October 13, 2017

Maryn McKenna is the author of Big Chicken (read our extract here): a look at how antibiotics fueled the rise of chicken from occasional treat to everyday protein source, regardless of what it does to our health. She speaks to Lucky Rock.

LR: Before the 1940s, chickens were kept for egg laying and were rarely served at the dinner table. How did chicken become such a big industry?

MM: The chickens we eat now are not what chickens used to be like. A whole bunch of things happened; from bringing technology to hatching eggs so that hens didn’t have to sit on eggs any more; from changing the nutrition of chickens so they could survive over the winter to changing the literal shape of chickens by crossbreeding them. To me, the most important thing that happened is that we fed them antibiotics routinely.

I thought antibiotics were to treat sick humans. Why give them to chickens?

It dates back to the late 1940s, the beginning of the antibiotic era. A biologist at one of the first antibiotic manufacturers discovered that if you give animals tiny doses that are far too small to cure an infection, they put weight on faster. Those tiny doses changed the mix of bacteria in the guts of chickens in such a way that it changed how they took nutrition from their food.

A little while later it was discovered that slightly larger doses protected animals from infection. The first discovery leads to treating chickens as high-throughput proteins because you can move them through production faster. The second, preventative use, leads to cramming chickens together in tighter and tighter conditions because it makes it feasible to produce them in rapid and crowded quantities.

So, it wasn’t a good development for the chickens?

Animal welfare standards declined. Once you change the rate at which they grow by dosing them, and once you keep them in conditions that they naturally could not have withstood, it suddenly makes it more feasible to keep the birds in solid walled barns where they never see sunlight, to change their breeding such that they’re insatiably hungry and can’t stop eating; to change their shape so they have much more breast muscle.

It turned out to be bad news for humans too, giving rise to deadly drug-resistant superbugs. How come?

The animal gets those routine doses in their feed and water. The antibiotics go into their gut where they are fed into the gut bacteria. The bacteria become resistant and survive. They can leave the animal when we let the gut contents get on to the meat during slaughter. Or they exit with manure, which can get into groundwater and storm run-off, or dust in the wind, or on the skin and clothes of farm workers.

Those resistant bacteria move away from the farm and eventually contact people who have no connection and potentially cause a drug-resistant infection in them.

How long have we known about this?

By the 1950s and 1960s, there are outbreaks of drug-resistant foodborne illness, from drug-resistant bacteria of the type that is in animals’ guts and cause illness when they get into humans’ systems – like E coli and salmonella. Several enterprising epidemiologists trace that chain of evidence backward and keep finding that it traces back to farms. Those outbreaks get successively larger across the decades.

Then why didn’t we stop feeding animals antibiotics decades ago?

The EU banned growth promoter use 11 years ago, and had introduced a partial ban in 1999. The UK government was the first to do something about this. There were some large outbreaks in the UK in the 1960s. The Swann commission reports in 1969 that growth promoters are a health hazard and should be banned and in 1971, parliament approves the measure. It almost immediately gets undermined [farmers continued to use the antibiotics, saying they were being used for prevention not growth promotion].

That happens time and time again. There’s a measure attempting to control antibiotic use, then someone finds a way around it.

Can we produce enough cheap antibiotic-free meat to feed the world?

We have this idea that an antibiotic-free animal has to be a happy animal gambolling on green hills. That is not necessarily the case. There are very large producers that are still raising birds in very large numbers, tens of thousands at a time, in very large barns. They are improving conditions in those. They’ve not only changed the diet, but they’re allowing the birds to exercise and they’re cutting windows in the barns so they can have natural light.

So, forgoing antibiotics led them to take other welfare measures. They are the proof that it is possible to still produce animals for protein in an industrial high-throughput manner but relinquishing antibiotics.

Do you eat chicken?

I do. The book opens and ends with me stuffing my face with delicious (antibiotic-free) chicken. I wanted to make the point that I’m a meat-eater because one of the easiest ways to dismiss a critique or investigation of the way we produce meat is to say, “Oh, this is some kind of disguised vegan agenda.”

Also, when we created the system of growing meat animals that we have, we elevated a bunch of values – efficiency, consistency and safety to some – and we completely forgot about flavour.

To me, a chicken worth eating tastes like a chicken that had a life worth living, that got to move its legs, flap its wings, have some sunlight on its feathers. These things make a chicken have more texture because the muscles got used. When they get to vary their diets and not just have industrially produced soy and corn, you can taste that in the flesh too.

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Antibiotic resistance could spell end of modern medicine, says chief medic

The Guardian  /  October 13, 2017

England’s chief medical officer has repeated her warning of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” as she urged world leaders to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Prof Dame Sally Davies said that if antibiotics lose their effectiveness it would spell “the end of modern medicine”. Without the drugs used to fight infections, common medical interventions such as caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements would become incredibly risky and transplant medicine would be a thing of the past, she said.

“We really are facing – if we don’t take action now – a dreadful post-antibiotic apocalypse. I don’t want to say to my children that I didn’t do my best to protect them and their children,” Davies said.

Health experts have previously said resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer. In recent years, the UK has led a drive to raise global awareness of the threat posed to modern medicine by antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Each year about 700,000 people around the world die due to drug-resistant infections including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. If no action is taken, it has been estimated that drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

The UK government and the Wellcome Trust, along with others, have organised a call to action meeting for health officials from around the world. At the meeting in Berlin, the government will announce a new project that will map the spread of death and disease caused by drug-resistant superbugs.

Davies said: “This AMR is with us now, killing people. This is a serious issue that is with us now, causing deaths. If it was anything else, people would be up in arms about it. But because it is hidden they just let it pass.

“It does not really have a ‘face’ because most people who die of drug-resistant infections, their families just think they died of an uncontrolled infection. It will only get worse unless we take strong action everywhere across the globe. We need some real work on the ground to make a difference or we risk the end of modern medicine.”

She added: “Not to be able to effectively treat infections means that caesarean sections, hip replacements, modern surgery, is risky. Modern cancer treatment is risky and transplant medicine becomes a thing of the past.”

Davies said that if the global community did not act then the progress that had been made in Britain may be undermined.

She estimated that about one in three or one in four prescriptions in UK primary care were probably not needed. “But other countries use vastly more antibiotics in the community and they need to start doing as we are, which is reducing usage,” she said. “Our latest data shows that we have reduced human consumption by 4.3% in 2014-15 from the year before.”

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We’ve played chicken with food safety … and we’ve lost

The Guardian  /  October 13, 2017

The dirty business of chicken processing is in the spotlight, with a Guardian undercover abattoir investigation revealing dodgy practices. As supermarkets suspend sales from the factory involved and Labour promises a parliamentary inquiry, some members of the food industry are sighing at the media’s obsession with the subject of poultry hygiene. But the subject will keep coming up, however much business wishes it away, because industrial chicken is one of the defining commodities of our era. Its cheapness comes at a high price.

Meat production has quintupled in my lifetime, in large part thanks to the ubiquitous skinless factory chicken breast, and chicken accounts for around half of the meat we eat. At any one time there are more than twice as many chickens on Earth as humans – around 19 billion of them, bred to put on weight at turbocharged rates and mature in record time as uniform units of production that fit abattoir machinery. We have invented food Fordism – meat for the masses from the conveyor belt, no longer a luxury but an everyday ingredient. But, for all its apparent democratising possibilities, it is a commodity fraught with inescapable dilemmas.

Intensive livestock production is one of the most significant drivers of climate breakdown. It contributes nearly one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, rivalling the whole global transport sector. True, feedlot cattle leave a greater environmental footprint than poultry, but if you care about mitigating global warming, plant-based proteins are far better than intensively reared birds. Most of us in developed countries eat far more protein than we actually need for health, and most people could do more for the climate by cutting meat than giving up their car and plane journeys.

As the world’s population grows, the question of how we produce enough to feed everyone becomes ever more urgent. Intensively reared livestock is an inefficient way of meeting needs. Previous calculations based on global averages from the 1970s found that farming an acre of decent land produced 20kg (45lb) of animal protein; the same acre given over to producing wheat yielded 63kg of protein. In developed countries, which use more agrochemicals, protein yields from grain are now six to eight times higher. The comparison is not direct because it does not measure livestock protein conversion efficiency per acre, but research published in 2013 looked at how much protein you get from animals per 100 grams of grain protein fed to them. The finding for chickens was 40 grams (35 for eggs, 10 for pork and 5 for beef).

If the grain that is currently used to feed animals were fed directly to people, there might be just enough food to go round when population peaks. If instead we continue to spread our industrial meat habit to poorer countries, we’ll need three planets to feed the world. The ethical argument is overwhelming: we need to get back to thinking of meat as a luxury, to be enjoyed occasionally, if not entirely forsworn.

The reason the sector is beset by repeated scandals is that it is economically unsustainable. Even leaving aside the big planetary questions, meat can only be this cheap if the price is paid elsewhere. The livestock revolution took off in the 1950s because of three factors: cheap energy, which allowed farmers to house animals indoors; cheap synthetic fertiliser, which produced surplus grain for concentrated feed; and the mass production of cheap drugs, particularly antibiotics – you can only keep large numbers of birds in close confinement if you have the means to control the disease that inevitably accompanies the practice.

For centuries before that, farmers had been constrained in their production by how much their land could support. Chickens were fed waste and acted as scavengers of food and insects, allowed to range free so that they could eat food that would otherwise go unused, with the added advantage that they spread their manure as they went.

The next leap forward for industrial chicken production came with the development of processing machinery in the 1960s – an engineering feat that automated the mass slaughter, plucking, eviscerating and cutting of birds in one continuous conveyor belt. Large numbers of workers are still needed to process chickens, but they are in low-skilled production-line jobs. All this slashed costs and allowed the populations of developed countries to consume meat in a completely new way.

But now the consequences are coming home to roost. Energy is no longer cheap; nor is the grain needed for concentrated feed, despite agricultural subsidies. Some of the raw materials for fertiliser are running out globally. Frontline antibiotics needed for humans are losing their efficacy in large part because of overuse in farming. Supermarkets with their oligopolies of buying power have used cheap chicken as a weapon in their price wars and kept prices low, so that processors have to work on high volumes with low margins, despite the pressure of rising costs.

The sector is highly concentrated, with just a few corporate players. Just five companies account for 90% of the birds slaughtered in Britain each week. The pressure to cut corners in factories and sweat capital-intensive machinery, leaving little time for cleaning, is intense. Food-borne illness caused by chicken is a stubborn problem. Meanwhile, if a supermarket wanted to go elsewhere to punish an errant supplier, it has little choice left.

There’s plenty you could do to make it a more sustainable industry. You could slow the growing time and give birds more room on farms, using less engineered breeds that take 12 weeks, rather than just over a month to reach slaughter weight. That would help curb some of the cruellest aspects of the business, which see densely packed, overbred birds, prone to disease and bacterial infection, collapsing under their own weight. But that would cost more. In the factory you could slow the speed of the lines, so that cross-contamination of carcasses was less likely, and workers’ jobs less relentlessly tough and unpleasant, thus easing the pressure to break hygiene rules and making the sector more attractive to local staff. But that, too, would cost more.

We know roughly how much more, since the top end of organic production already does these things, and a posh chicken from that sort of outlet is three to four times as expensive as a conventional supermarket one. But there are hardly votes in arguing we should pay that much for our chicken. Politicians dare not say it for fear of sounding Marie Antoinette-ish. But the price of cheap is too high, and we should probably be eating something else.

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KSB, I can't imagine the abuses in the British poultry industry are much different than in America! I've been in a few poultry processing plants to load! The smell is overwhelming!, spent a night laid over at a massive chicken hatchery where they produced powdered egg products for commercial bakeries! Nasty rotten egg smell! So you don't only get poisoned when you eat commercially produced chicken, what about the baked goods that use egg products! The fellow that washed our trucks used to work in a southern poultry processing plant said it was a sweatshop! The chickens went by on an assembly line and the workers had seconds to cut it into the various parts! Most Americans won't do the work so a new opportunity for exploitation of workers emerges! Most of the workers live in company owned barracks. Every plant has a row of window vans parked outside they pick them up in the morning and drop them off in the evening! Tyson got busted about 15 yrs ago in Arkansas for soliciting illegal workers in Mexico! Apparently the quasi legal green card workers they had been using didn't work fast enough! A reporter asked a Tyson official why they used illegal workers,  He looked at her in amazement!😁 "They work faster they don't take bathroom breaks and they never complain!" Obviously if you're at risk of being deported you don't complain! Kinda like a modern "company store"!. That whole thing went away in a couple of months and Tysons still selling chicken! I shouldn't really eat any chicken, but I don't eat Tysons!

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Gonna go grille a steak! That's a whole nuther can of worms, don't think Upton Sinclair would approve!

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I wouldn't worry about the chickens when donny gets us in nuclear  ww3

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Mackey 58, wonder if "Donny" has his own bunker like JFK? ( not comparing JFK with "Donny"!

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KSB, many of those who die of drug resistant infections in America contract them in hospitals! I believe one is called Mersa an NFL player in Tampa got a foot Infection in the locker room and his career was ended! The use of antibiotics in chicken and other meats is a leading cause of antibiotic resistance in humans! "Feeder lots" for truckers hauling livestock beside the interstate make poultry processing plants look positively sanitary! The one in E Texas on I 10 and the one in Sidney Nebraska on I 80 are particularly nasty!

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The Beef,  Chicken, Rabbit, Pork and Lamb we eat is raised, slaughtered, cooked and eaten by us alone. We are 70% self sufficient food wise.  We don't worry.   Paul

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You need to watch what Trump is doing, this is all part of the plan, the tweets is how he sucks them in, it's part of the plan, bad cop good cop, he is playing with them, watch him you will see how he operates, ignore the fluff, that is all show for the media.  

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Thanks for the laugh...I need that. :lol:

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On ‎10‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 5:23 PM, HeavyGunner said:

We don't either, raise chickens and have laying hens. My wife and I usually put 2 elk and 2 deer in the freezer every year and every other year or so we buy a pig from the neighbor who raises pigs without growth hormones.

Rockies are full of organic government beef. Lucky, lucky man HG.  

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On 10/14/2017 at 10:49 PM, HeavyGunner said:

We've been dealing with North Korea since th Korean War ended trying to be diplomatic. It hasn't worked in 60 years, we just supposed to sit on our hands or draw the line in the sand but never back it up?  If trump could shut up with the petty bs that the media just gobbles up and let his policies speak for themselves we'd all be in a better spot. As for telling that fat little turd in North Korea after he threatens to nuke a US territory while continuing launching missiles over and around our allies that we will not stand for this and will kick his a$$. Amen brother, look what happened when Obama (this isn't a left or right thing, it's just what happened) "drew the line in the sand" and did nothing. The terrorists got brave, called his bluff and went on gassing people and doing whatever they wanted boldly and unafraid of the paper tiger. Back to the original thread. 

Not to depart from the thread but I had a conversation the other day with a gal whose father in law had a very high ranking military position in a  south American government.  this guy was a German who had much experience on a world wide scale.  She said he would say years ago, the country to be wary of in the future was North Korea.  And we know, Fat Boy's family has been in control for years.

Pigeons are coming home to roost!

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Yeah thanks  Nixon for going to China 

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19 hours ago, Red Horse said:

Not to depart from the thread but I had a conversation the other day with a gal whose father in law had a very high ranking military position in a  south American government.  this guy was a German who had much experience on a world wide scale.  She said he would say years ago, the country to be wary of in the future was North Korea.  And we know, Fat Boy's family has been in control for years.

Pigeons are coming home to roost!

Not saying NK is something to scoff at but they produce absolutely nothing.  No gas, metal, food electricity. Break up their supply deliveries and they would not last long .  Just my opinion.  For some really interesting short documentaries about NK go to YouTube and look up Vice North Korea. A bunch of very interesting short documentaries on the subject. 

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That's the terrible thing about today's "journalists" Grayhair, they don't report the news. Instead they make flashy click bait headlines to get clicks and ratings. Very interesting. 

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US urges UK to embrace chlorinated chicken

[Why US chicken has no taste]

BBC  /  March 2, 2019

US ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson has urged the UK to embrace US farming methods after Washington published its objectives for a UK-US trade deal.

EU rules currently limit US exports of certain food products, including chicken and beef - but Mr Johnson wants that to change in the UK after Brexit.

Downing Street has repeatedly denied it will accept lower food standards.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: "We have always been very clear that we will not lower our food standards as part of a future trading agreement."

Mr Johnson, however, described warnings over US farming practices as "inflammatory and misleading" smears from "people with their own protectionist agenda".

He also said the EU's "Museum of Agriculture" approach was not sustainable, adding: "American farmers are making a vital contribution to the rest of the world. Their efforts deserve to be recognised.

"Instead, they are being dismissed with misleading scare-stories which only tell you half the story."

On chlorine-washed chicken, Mr Johnson said the process was the same as that used by EU farmers to treat their fruit and vegetables.

Describing it as a "public safety no-brainer", he insisted it was the most effective and economical way of dealing with "potentially lethal" bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter.

'Welfare standards'

President of the UK's National Farmer's Union (NFU) Minette Batters said that while Mr Johnson was correct in saying chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef was "safe" to eat, there were other factors that needed considering.

"The difference is welfare standards and environmental protection standards," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Our consumer has demanded high standards of animal welfare, we've risen to that challenge - he's right to make the point that food security is crucially important, we would say the same - but all we're saying is: 'Produce the food to our standards and we'll have a trade deal.'"

Ms Batters said chicken farms in the US were not required, for example, to include windows in their sheds or clean out in between flocks.

The US National Farmers' Union has always maintained that its chicken and beef, which use processes banned by the EU, are "perfectly safe" and argues there has been a lot of "fear-mongering".

However, its British counterpart said the UK government should not accept a US deal "which allows food to be imported into this country produced in ways which would be illegal here".

That, Ms Batters said, "would just put British producers out of business".

Amy Mount from Greener UK, an environmental lobby group, said: "This wish-list shows that a hard-Brexit pivot away from the EU in favour of the US would mean pressure to scrap important protections for our environment and food quality.

"Any future trade deals should reflect the high standards that the UK public both wants and expects."

Despite the NFU's insistence that consumers are keen to maintain the current welfare standards in farming, Ms Batters said there was a possibility the UK would give in to the US.

She said: "There's always been the risk - and agriculture has always been the last chapter in any trade deal to be agreed - so yes there is a huge risk that British agriculture will be the sacrificial lamb in future trade deals."

Meanwhile, Dr Emily Jones, who is an associate professor of public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, also said the issue was likely to be a sticking point for the US.

"I think the US won't buy it in negotiations with the UK," said Dr Jones, referring to the UK's insistence on maintaining its current standards.

"It's wanted, for a very long time, the EU to harmonise with US regulations and approaches to the production of food and it's exactly what it'll ask of the UK as well."

What is chlorine-washed chicken?

In the US, it is legal to wash chicken carcasses in strongly chlorinated water [Why???].

Producers argue that it stops the spread of microbial contamination from the bird's digestive tract to the meat, a method approved by US regulators [it saves US producers money].

But the practice has been banned in the EU since 1997, where only washing with cold air or water is allowed.

The EU argues that chlorine washes could increase the risk of bacterial-based diseases such as salmonella on the grounds that dirty abattoirs with sloppy standards would rely on it as a decontaminant rather than making sure their basic hygiene protocols were up to scratch [as is the case in the United States].

There are also concerns that such "washes" would be used by less scrupulous meat processing plants to increase the shelf-life of meat, making it appear fresher than it really is [tell it like it is].

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