2018/09/21: Dominated by multinational corporations that contract with local farmers, the industry is concentrated in the state's low-lying southeastern coastal plain – exactly where Florence shattered rainfall records.
Even in fair weather, the state's 2,100 facilities, all decades old, pose problems. Odor and pathogens from animal barns, waste pits, and spray fields can torment and sicken neighbors, prompting three juries this year to award hundreds of millions in damages to plaintiffs suing Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer. Other suits are in the offing.
A Duke University study published online this week reinforced these neighbors' concerns, citing low life expectancy in communities near confined animal feeding operations, even after adjusting for socioeconomic factors known to affect health and lifespan.
All of these threats are amplified after heavy rains. Fields saturated with rainwater can't absorb nutrients from waste pits; excess nitrogen and phosphorous instead appear in rivers and streams, at worst causing algae blooms and fish kills. Manure pits can burst or overflow, sending sludge, microbes, and potentially antibiotic-resistant bacteria into floodwaters, heightening their risk to public health.
"You're releasing all of that and making this soup of eastern North Carolina," Ryke Longest, director of Duke University's environmental law clinic, told EHN.
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
Is grassfed beef better? Is it healthier? Is it leaner? Is grassfed beef sustainable? Learn the truth about grass fed beef in this in-depth article from food revolutionary and 2-million-copy bestselling author John Robbins.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance.
This week, health authorities in New Zealand announced that the tightly quarantined island nation - the only place I've ever been where you get x-rayed on the way into the country as well as leaving it - has experienced its first case, and first death, from a strain of totally drug-resistant bacteria. From the New...
Heralded as a "miracle of modern medicine" when they were first discovered, antibiotics have been overused for so long that most have become ineffective. Stories about superbugs (bacteria resistant to
Antibiotics aren't doing what they're supposed to do anymore. You know, kill infections. Since Alexander Fleming invented penicillin 75 years ago, nearly all bacteria have mutated into strains impervious to antibiotics. Those souped up bacteria now kill hundreds of thousands of people, at a minimum, each year. And according to a new issue of medical journal The Lancet focused on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, things could soon get a whole lot scarier.
Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue.
The CDC doctor says we need to create a new model to fight drug resistance, joining public and private funding with leadership at local levels.
Meat contaminants are not likely to go away because they stem from Big Meat's desire to maximize profits by growing animals faster. Recently, the US Department of Agriculture announced plans to "relax" federal meat and poultry inspections, allowing meat processors greater leeway in policing themselves, already the agricultural trend. Most food activists ask how standards could be relaxed any further when drug residues, heavy metals, cleaning supplies, gasses, nitrites, hormones and other unwanted guests contaminate the meat supply.
A report from the CDC reveals the grave dangers of antibiotic resistance and says factory-farmed animals are a big contributor. What would our healthcare system look like if we couldn't perform surgeries, administer chemotherapy, replace joints, treat diabetes? It would be the end of modern medicine as we know it. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control warns we could be headed toward that very future.
Infections and deaths caused by superbugs are increasing every year. So the government's five-year strategy to tackle the problem, if a little tardy, is a welcome step. In January, Chief Medical Officer
Take a deep breath, carnivores: 87 percent of supermarket meat tests positive for normal and antibiotic-resistant forms of Enterococcus bacteria.
Anyone who has struggled to protect a community from the damage caused by an industrial livestock operation can attest that the task is exceptionally difficult, requiring courage, fortitude, and substantial investment of time, money, energy and effort. It's an uphill battle, a lopsided fight in which all odds are stacked in favor of industrial livestock proponents
Back in June last year, Techdirt reported on the warning from the World Health Organization's Director-General that we risked entering a "post-antibiotic era". That was in part because the current patent system was not encouraging the...
The FDA is forgoing opportunities to compel companies to disclose data regarding the use of antibiotics in agriculture -- data that some say is in the public's interest to know. Wired Science blogger Maryn McKenna describes the situation.
Antibiotics joined our growing arsenal of weapons in the fight against disease over seventy years ago. Their target - the bacterial infections that putrefied our wounds, filled our lungs with pneumonia
A new study by Consumer Reports found pork contaminated with dangerous levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including high rates of Yersinia.