Walmart Needs To Fix This NOW

Mike Mozart, CC BY 2.0

“More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Walmart pork contained bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics, report says

Nov 26, 2019

Food Dive – Pork samples purchased from Walmart contained dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” according to a new report published by animal-welfare group World Animal Protection.

The report found 80% of pork samples tested from Mid-Atlantic Walmart stores were resistant to at least one antibiotic, while 37% of the bacteria in the Walmart samples were resistant to three or more classes.

Overall, roughly 27% of the resistant bacteria found on Walmart’s pork were resistant to classes categorized as Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials by the World Health Organization.

A total of 160 pork samples were tested by researchers at Texas Tech University.

Of those, 80 were from Walmart and 80 were from an unnamed competing national retail chain in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The samples were tested in 32 batches for E. coli, salmonella, enterococcus and listeria. The group said enterococcus was found in 13 batches, E. coli in 10 batches, salmonella in six and listeria in three batches.

“The presence of multidrug-resistant bacteria on pork products illustrates the role the pork supply chain plays in the global health crisis caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Alesia Soltanpanah, executive director of World Animal Protection U.S., said in a release.

She said the fact that pork from one of the nation’s largest retailers contains bacteria resistant to antibiotics critically important to human health is “particularly alarming and should raise concerns.”​

While the report from the World Animal Protection — an organization whose goal is to protect animals and end cruelty toward them — mainly singled out Walmart, researchers also tested pork samples from another national retail chain and found antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

However, the group said no batches from the second retailer contained two strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria in a single batch, and none of the bacteria from that retailer’s samples were resistant to antibiotics considered critically important to human health.

These kinds of antibiotics, known as Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials, are those to which there are few or no alternatives to treat people with serious infections … Read more. 

U.S. pork and the superbug crisis: how higher welfare farming is better for pigs and people

World Animal Protection – Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” pose an extinction-level threat to all human life. Recently, the World Health Organization called antimicrobial resistance “an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.”

Yet not enough is being done to address the overuse of antibiotics, which is leading to ever less-effective antibiotic medicines.

One of the biggest factors behind the growing problem of resistance is that antibiotics are vastly overused in farming. Globally, by far most of the antibiotic use is for animals.

While use of the drugs as growth promoters in feed and water has been increasingly phased out in the United States, approximately 70% of all medically important antibiotics in the country are sold for use in animals. In December 2018, World Animal Protection released a global report on the results of pork samples tested for the presence of bacteria resistant to specific antibiotics.

The project was prompted by current research suggesting a Introduction link between low-welfare farming systems and overuse of antibiotics. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics considered most critically important to human health by the World Health Organization were found in samples sold by major supermarkets in Brazil, Spain and Thailand, including samples sold in Walmart stores in Brazil.

This report turns its attention to the presence of antibioticresistant bacteria found in pork sold in supermarkets in the United States – the country with one of the highest per capita rates of meat consumption in the world – and two well-known national retail chains.

The results of these tests have widespread implications for all retailers, as well as pig producers, governments and consumers of pork. …

Routine and continuous use of drugs in farmed animals poses potential risks for animals, people, and the environment. Many of the bacteria commonly carried by animals can also cause disease in people. When regularly exposed to low doses of antibiotics, the bacteria that survive are better able to reproduce and spread.

In September 2016, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly formally recognized the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in animals as a leading cause of rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR) … Read the full report here.