March 12, 2009

Hog Farms, Spread of MRSA, Subject of NYT Column

Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Communications Director

Center for a Livable Future

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof hit on antibiotic resistance today in his opinion column. Kristof reports traveling to the small town of Camden, Indiana, where a recently deceased doctor uncovered a frightening number of residents with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Turns out that the small Indiana town is surrounded by a large number of industrial hog farms. Kristof points to the 2004 dutch study which showed pigs could infect people with MRSA, and mentions the recent study from the University of Iowa that found 45 percent of pig farmers examined carried MRSA. Kristof concludes, “so what’s going on here, and where do these antibiotic-resistant infections come from? Probably from the routine use — make that the insane overuse — of antibiotics in livestock feed.” He promises another column in Sunday’s Times that will focus more on the issue.


  1. MRSA and some other human diseases are indeed linked to pigs and excessive antibiotic use that in turn can be traced to another pig disease called by many names.

    Circovirus (sometimes MRSA or PCVAD or PDNS) mutated in Britain in 1999. The resulting epidemic was covered up and slowly spread about the world. The antibiotics used to handle the consequences created new strains of MRSA including ST398.

    The Dutch very honourably flew to the US and warned your scientists but were ignored.

    In North America, Canada has been badly hit, but now both circovirus and MRSA are found in US pigs and pork too.

    It is bad and getting worse.

    Pat Gardiner
    Release the results of testing British pigs for MRSA and C.Diff now! and

  2. Just spotted your question, Patricia.

    My email address is on the website, and I will be glad to answer any questions about my background.

    Or you can ask here, but someone please drop me an email to let me know if you do, because I’m not a regaular contrubtor and may miss the response.

    Regards Pat Gardiner

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