• How factory farms could trigger a antibiotic crisis — and what we can do to stop it –

    In fact, Denny’s joins a growing group of major fast food and fast casual chains (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Chipotle, and others) that have established policies prohibiting the use of medically important antibiotics in chicken. This is not the same as “antibiotic-free” claims, to be clear (“medically important” antibiotics are those used in human medicine; there are other antibiotics only used in animals), but it is a critical change that has been rippling through the food system for the past several years to protect human health. To explain the significance of this trend, a quick history of the problem that companies are trying to address is useful.

    According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance is one of the top 10 threats to global public health in 2019. When antibiotic medications are overused or misused, resistant bacteria can spread, causing treatments for common (and often serious) illnesses to become ineffective. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2 million Americans contract an antibiotic-resistant infection every year, and 23,000 will die from it.

    The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is a major part of the problem. More than 70 percent of the medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. are sold for use in food animals. This is not because cows are particularly susceptible to strep throat; the majority of antibiotics used on animal farms are not used as treatment for diagnosed diseases in animals. Rather, most animals raised for food are raised on factory farms, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). To produce animal products cheaply and on a large scale, animals are packed together, creating crowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions. Such conditions are inherently disease-promoting for animals. To deal with the likelihood of infections and disease associated with poor conditions without actually changing those conditions, antibiotics have become a convenient Band-Aid. As factory farming has become the predominant model for raising animals for food, more farmers have resorted to practices of routinely administering antibiotics (sometimes even delivering drugs to chicks still in the egg) to keep animals “healthy” enough to bring to slaughter. As more antibiotics are used in these conditions, more antibiotic-resistant bacteria are released into the environment.

    Ultimately, eliminating antibiotics in the rest of the meat supply chain will require real changes in the way conventional farming works. Furthermore, the problem of antibiotic resistance is only one of many negative consequences of the factory farming system. Factory farms are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution, and deforestation; and from a moral standpoint, the quality of life for animals raised in factory farming conditions is shockingly poor.

    Antibiotics provide a window into the deep problems in the animal agriculture system that produces the majority of our meat. The current model is broken. At the same time, the progress in reducing medically important antibiotics in the chicken industry over just a few years sheds light on the potential for change. When consumers demand more responsibly raised meat, the market will respond.

    #Antibiotiques #Alimentation #Elevage

  • A game of chicken: how Indian poultry farming is creating global #superbugs

    On a farm in the Rangareddy district in India, near the southern metropolis of Hyderabad, a clutch of chicks has just been delivered. Some 5,000 birds peck at one another, loitering around a warehouse which will become cramped as they grow. Outside the shed, stacks of bags contain the feed they will eat during their five-week-long lives. Some of them gulp down a yellow liquid from plastic containers - a sugar water fed to the chicks from the moment they arrive, the farm caretaker explains. “Now the supervisor will come,” she adds, “and we will have to start with whatever medicines he would ask us to give the chicks.”

    The medicines are antibiotics, given to the birds to protect them against diseases or to make them gain weight faster so more can be grown each year at greater profit. One drug typically given this way is colistin. Doctors call it the “last hope” antibiotic because it is used to treat patients who are critically ill with infections which have become resistant to nearly all other drugs. The World Health Organisation has called for the use of such antibiotics, which it calls “critically important to human medicine”, to be restricted in animals and banned as growth promoters. Their continued use in farming increases the chance bacteria will develop resistance to them, leaving them useless when treating patients.

    Yet thousands of tonnes of veterinary colistin was shipped to countries including Vietnam, India, South Korea and Russia in 2016, the Bureau can reveal. In India at least five animal pharmaceutical companies are openly advertising products containing colistin as growth promoters.

    One of these companies, Venky’s, is also a major poultry producer. Apart from selling animal medicines and creating its own chicken meals, it also supplies meat directly and indirectly to fast food chains in India such as KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Dominos.
    #inde #antibiotiques #santé

  • In Asia’s Fattest Country, Nutritionists Take Money From Food Giants - The New York Times

    The research exemplified a practice that began in the West and has moved, along with rising obesity rates, to developing countries: deep financial partnerships between the world’s largest food companies and nutrition scientists, policymakers and academic societies.
    Continue reading the main story
    Planet Fat
    Articles in this series are exploring the causes and the consequences of rising obesity rates around the world.

    A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obesity
    DEC 11
    She Took On Colombia’s Soda Industry. Then She Was Silenced.
    NOV 13
    The Global Siren Call of Fast Food
    OCT 2
    Obesity Was Rising as Ghana Embraced Fast Food. Then Came KFC.
    OCT 2
    As Global Obesity Rises, Teasing Apart Its Causes Grows Harder
    SEP 17

    See More »
    Dr. Tee E Siong, in front of a restaurant menu at a mall outside Kuala Lumpur, heads the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, which is financed in large part by some of the world’s largest food companies. Credit Rahman Roslan for The New York Times

    As they seek to expand their markets, big food companies are spending significant funds in developing countries, from India to Cameroon, in support of local nutrition scientists. The industry funds research projects, pays scholars consulting fees, and sponsors most major nutrition conferences at a time when sales of processed foods are soaring. In Malaysia sales have increased 105 percent over the past five years, according to Euromonitor, a market research company.

    Similar relationships have ignited a growing outcry in the United States and Europe, and a veritable civil war in the field between those who take food industry funding and those who argue that the money manipulates science and misleads policymakers and consumers. But in developing countries, where government research funding is scarce and there is less resistance to the practice, companies are doubling down in their efforts.

    But some nutritionists say Malaysia’s dietary guidelines, which Dr. Tee helped craft, are not as tough on sugar as they might otherwise be. They tell people to load up on grains and cereals, and to limit fat to less than 20 to 30 percent of daily calories, a recommendation that was removed from dietary guidelines in the United States in 2015 after evidence emerged that low-fat diets don’t curb obesity and may contribute to it.

    Corporate funding of nutrition science in Malaysia has weakened the case against sugar and processed foods, said Rohana Abdul Jalil, a Harvard-trained diet expert based in the rural state of Kelantan, where obesity is as high as in the biggest cities.

    “There’s never been an explicit, aggressive campaign against sugar,” she said.

    #Nutrition #Conflit_intérêt #Malaysie #Nestlé

  • They thought they were going to rehab. They ended up in chicken plants

    Across the country, judges increasingly are sending defendants to rehab instead of prison or jail. These diversion courts have become the bedrock of criminal justice reform, aiming to transform lives and ease overcrowded prisons.

    But in the rush to spare people from prison, some judges are steering defendants into rehabs that are little more than lucrative work camps for private industry, an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

    The programs promise freedom from addiction. Instead, they’ve turned thousands of men and women into indentured servants.

    The beneficiaries of these programs span the country, from Fortune 500 companies to factories and local businesses. The defendants work at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Oklahoma, a construction firm in Alabama, a nursing home in North Carolina.

    Perhaps no rehab better exemplifies this allegiance to big business than CAAIR. It was started in 2007 by chicken company executives struggling to find workers. By forming a Christian rehab, they could supply plants with a cheap and captive labor force while helping men overcome their addictions.

    At CAAIR, about 200 men live on a sprawling, grassy compound in northeastern Oklahoma, and most work full time at Simmons Foods Inc., a company with annual revenue of $1.4 billion. They slaughter and process chickens for some of America’s largest retailers and restaurants, including Walmart, KFC and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. They also make pet food for PetSmart and Rachael Ray’s Nutrish brand.

  • Des salaires de crève-la-faim aux États-Unis

    Réduire les inégalités : pour Barack Obama comme pour Bill de Blasio, nouveau maire de New York, c’est le défi central de notre époque. Pour plusieurs employés américains de la restauration rapide, et tout particulièrement à New York, ce défi passe par l’introduction d’un salaire minimum de 15$ l’heure.

    Pendant 16 mois, Alvin Major a travaillé de 78 à 84 heures par semaine dans trois restaurants de la chaîne KFC à Brooklyn. Et même s’il ne touchait que le salaire minimum de l’époque – 7,25$ l’heure -, il parvenait à boucler son budget mensuel en tant que principal soutien d’une famille de quatre enfants âgés de 12 à 18 ans.

    Mais la situation financière de cet homme de 48 ans s’est détériorée il y a huit mois. Après avoir réclamé d’être payé à taux et demi pour ses heures supplémentaires, il a été renvoyé par deux des trois restaurants KFC où il travaillait, ceux-là mêmes qui se trouvaient dans son voisinage. Il continue à bosser 32 heures par semaine comme cuisinier pour le troisième, mais il doit prendre le métro pour s’y rendre, un inconvénient qui lui coûte 112$ par mois.

    La dépense lui semble une cruelle injustice quand il pense à la courte distance qui le séparait des deux autres restaurants.

    « Je fais environ 850$ par mois », raconte Alvin Major dans le salon d’un appartement soigneusement rangé et décoré de fleurs artificielles et de photos de ses enfants ainsi que du couple présidentiel. « Ma femme, qui travaille tout au plus 10 heures par semaine avec des enfants handicapés, m’aide à payer le loyer, mais nous sommes toujours deux ou trois mois en retard. »

    Pour subvenir à ses besoins, la famille Major, arrivée à New York de la Guyane en 2000, doit désormais compter sur le programme d’aide alimentaire du gouvernement fédéral, qui lui permet d’acheter 600$ de nourriture par mois....