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McDonald's to Reduce Antibiotics Use in Beef

In a significant win in the fight to save antibiotics, McDonald's—the largest and most iconic burger chain on the planet—announced Tuesday that it will address the use of antibiotics in its international supply chain for beef by 2021.

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Sanderson Farms Will Stop Unnecessary Antibiotics Use

Sanderson Farms announced Friday that it will stop unnecessarily administering two medically important antibiotics—the only two it reports using—in its chickens by March 1, 2019. The company will use the two antibiotics only when treating ailing animals or to control diseases in flocks with some sick birds. "This is a welcome change of heart and good news for people's health," said David Wallinga, senior health officer at NRDC. "To inspire consumer confidence, however, these new pledges will need to be independently verified."

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Lettuce Recall Is a Wake Up Call for Food Safety

By Erik D. Olson and Lena Brook

We live in partisan times, as anyone who had to sit through Thanksgiving dinner with distant relatives can probably attest. But even your crazy uncle would agree that the safety of our food shouldn't be a partisan issue. No one wants their child to get sick from eating a hamburger, chicken, or—in the case of the current E. coli outbreak—romaine lettuce. Yet last week's empty Thanksgiving salad bowls are a harbinger of what's to come if our federal government does not start taking food safety seriously.

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Turkey Is Bad on Antibiotics—Pork and Beef, Even Worse

By David Wallinga, MD

Heading into the holidays, many of our families are planning meals centered around a delicious turkey, ham or brisket. But a new analysis from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and our partners at Food Animal Concerns Trust shows that our families' health is at significant risk from how these American meats are typically produced.

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Antibiotics in Burgers: Majority of U.S. Fast Food Chains Fail Annual Report Card

By Lena Brook

Less than two weeks ago, JBS USA, one of our country's largest meat processors, announced a high-risk recall of nearly 7 million pounds of its raw beef, over concerns it may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. Nearly 60 patients in 16 states have so far been made sick. This recent outbreak of infections tied to contaminated ground beef is especially worrisome because S. Newport is a strain of Salmonella that has often been resistant to antibiotics. It may also be the largest beef recall in history for Salmonella.

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Antibiotic-Resistant Genes Are Airborne, Exposing Millions

By Jonathan Hahn

In 1991, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District launched a Spare the Air program to keep residents in the San Francisco Bay Area informed of high ozone-level days, when air is smoggy and exposure to poor air quality poses health risks. Now, the air district might need to update its alert system for something other than just ozone: antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs).

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A shopper examines a package of meat in a grocery store for freshness. USDA / CC BY 2.0

Superbugs Found in Nearly 80 Percent of U.S. Supermarket Meat

The latest round of tests by federal scientists found antibiotic-resistant bacteria on nearly 80 percent of supermarket meat in 2015, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Working Group.

Those bacteria were resistant to at least one of 14 antibiotics tested for by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, a federal public health partnership.

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Sales of medically important antibiotics for pigs rival those for use in human medicine.

The Pork Industry’s Role in the Future of Modern Medicine

By David Wallinga, MD

More than a century ago, my grandfather left his family's farm in Sioux Center, Iowa to study medicine, and later to set up practice in St. Paul, MN—which was founded as Pig's Eye, of course.

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Animals
Traces of Oxycodone were found in bay mussels like these used to monitor pollution levels in Seattle's Puget Sound. brewbooks / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Opioids Found in Seattle Mussels Could Put Salmon, Other Fish at Risk

A surprising finding from the waters of Seattle's Puget Sound reveals that the opioid epidemic devastating human communities in the U.S. could be harming marine life as well.

Every two years, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) transplants bay mussels raised in clean waters in Whidbey Island, WA to locations around Puget Sound in order to monitor pollution levels in the water. Since mussels are filter feeders, area scientists can get a good idea of what contaminants are present in the environment by examining which have built up in the mussels' tissue after two to three months of exposure.

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